Linda Carlson - Marsielle Missions Report & The Power Of Jesus’ Stories

The Power of “Jesus Stories”

A Woman Healed and Restored – Mark 5:21-34

August 12, 2018

Linda Carlson

 

In the Gospels, we learn that the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, has the power over life and death, both physical and spiritual.  Telling “Jesus stories” is one of the most effective ways to communicate the Good News about Jesus cross-culturally.

 

Today’s Passage:   Mark 5:21-34

 

What is the power of Jesus in my life, and what is the story that I have to tell others?

 

Big Idea: Finding my “Jesus Story” starts with knowing who Jesus is and having confident faith in Him.  The woman in this story is our example.

I.               There was a woman who had suffered a chronic illness for 12 years.  As a result, according to Jewish law, she was ceremonially unclean.  The result of her condition was that she was isolated from her community.  

      Reference: Leviticus 15:25-30 II.             What motivated the woman to seek out Jesus?  She heard the reports about Jesus.  One of the first miracles Jesus performed in her town was the healing of a man with an unclean spirit.

         Reference:  Mark 1:21-27; Mark 2:1-12; Mark 3:1-6; Mark 4:35-41;    Mark 5:1-20

III.            Why was the woman healed when she touched Jesus’ garment?  Because she touched his garment in faith, she felt in her body she was healed of her disease.

         Reference:  Matthew 9:20; Luke 8:44; Mark 5:34

IV.          What was the significance of the fringe on Jesus’ garment?  It represented his identity as a Jewish man and commitment to keeping    the law.  But for the Messiah, it was a sign of his power to heal.

         Reference:  Numbers 15:37-41; Malachi 4:2

V.            What was the significance of Jesus perceiving that power had gone out of him?  He identified with her sorrow and had intimate knowledge of the transaction of healing.

         Reference:  2 Corinthians 5:17, 21

VI.          Why did Jesus ask, “Who touched me?”  Because He wanted to confirm the woman’s faith, to take away her shame, and to help her make a public confession.

     Reference: Mark 5:34

VII.         What was the role of the woman’s faith in her healing?  It was means or instrument by which she took hold of Jesus’ healing power and conveyed her confidence in Him.

     Reference:  Mark 5:34; I John 5:14-15

VIII.       Why did Jesus heal?  To demonstrate that he is merciful and compassionate; that he was the promised Messiah; and that he had power over physical and spiritual life and death.

     Reference: Matthew 9:36; 14:14; Isaiah 35:5-6; Mark 2:1-12

IX.           What is the significance of Jesus’ sending her home in peace?  It was to set her free and to assure her of her complete healing.

         Reference: John 16:33, Philippians 4:6-7; Mark 5:34

X.            What is the parallel between the woman’s healing and our spiritual healing?  When we confess our sins, God forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

         Reference: I John 1:9; Mark 5:34

         Growth Group questions for August 12th

Icebreaker:  What situation are you frustrated about that may have been hanging on for a long time? Something you don’t have an answer for?

Thought Questions on the Scripture texts

1.  There was a woman who had suffered for 12 years….

Mark 5: 25-26

Is there a particular physical, spiritual, emotional or circumstantial need in your life right now that only the person and power of Jesus could help?  If so, what would that be?  Have you experienced being made whole by Jesus in an area of your life?  If so, can you describe that?

2.  Is there a Biblical story about Jesus that you can relate to personally?  If so, what is it in that story that touches you, that has changed you, that you could share with someone else? 

3.  If I only touch the fringe of his garment….

Matthew 9:21; Mark 5:28

Do you ever think thoughts in God’s direction that are really prayers?  Have you seen Him answer or respond to these?  What do they sound like?  What does that tell you about the nature of prayer?

4.  Jesus, perceiving that power had gone out from him….

Mark 5:28-30; Malachi 4:2; Matthew 14:34

When you think about Jesus, do you think about His power and authority?   How could considering His power and authority and ability to act change how you might be responding to a situation in your life?

5.  Who touched me ...

Mark 5:30-31; 2 Corinthians 5:17

What changes has God brought about in your life as a result of becoming a new creation in Christ?  What evidence of Christ’s presence and power can you share with someone?

2 Corinthians 5:21

6.  When the Bible says that Christ has been made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, what does that mean to you in real-time in your life?

7.  What does the idea of Jesus taking your impurities, your wrong-doings, your sins on Himself mean to you?  Have you experienced the exchanged life – in the sense of being receiving new life from Christ and being set free to be a new person?

8.  Your faith has made you well…

Mark 5:34a; I John 5:14-15

Jesus affirmed the woman’s faith has having a part in her healing.

What was that part?  Why is faith important?  What role has faith had in the work of Jesus in your life?

What is the relationship of faith and healing?

9.  Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.

Mark 5:34b; Philippians 4:6-7;  John 16:33

When you are anxious and fearful, what do you do? Is the peace of God real in your life?  How would you encourage someone who is not at peace to find peace?

What do these words of Jesus mean to you, “In me you have peace. Take heart, I have overcome the world.”  Is this personal peace possible?  Do you have a story about that? 

Lord, help me to believe that you are worthy of my trust!

Memory Verse:  Mark 5:34 “Daughter, your faith has made you well: go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Treasure God's Treasures

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Treasure God’s Treasures   Matthew 6:16-24

July 29, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 6:16-24

 

How do we live securely in this insecure world?

 

Big Idea: Treasure His treasures!  

 

I.               Treasure the approval of __________ above human recognition.

 

Matthew 6:16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Leviticus 23:27)

 

The law required fasting on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27).  The Jews fasted also on anniversaries of national calamities and in cases of great drought.  Jesus is referring to the fasting of the Pharisees on every Thursday when Moses ascended Mt. Sinai and on Monday when he came back down again. Fasting and sorrow went together.  It had its place in Judaism not as ascetic practice but as an accompaniment to prayer when expressing deep sorrow for sin and asking God to turn away his penalties away.  But the Pharisees practice private fasting as a means to secure the reputation of great holiness among the people. Lenski

 

Treasure God’s Treasures!

 

 

II.             Treasure heavenly _________________ above earthly treasures.

Matthew 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

A.   Reject the ________ that earth’s treasures are the ultimate.

Do not lay up for yourselves-

“Treasures on this earth are corruptible and therefore insecure, whereas treasures in heaven are incorruptible and therefore secure.  After all, if our object is to lay up treasure, we shall presumably concentrate on the kind which will last and can be stored without depreciation or deterioration.”      E. Stanley Jones. (Luke 12:15, Proverbs 6:6-8, I Timothy 5:8)

Poverty Theology- Disdain for earthly possessions. Wrong to have excess.

Prosperity Theology- Prosperity is the reward for the righteous.  If God is happy with you, He will bless you with many possessions. 

Proper Theology- Possessions are a trust given by God-responsible to manage them.  All belongs to Him. I Timothy 6:17-18, Ps.24:1, I Cor.4:7

B.   ___________________ treasures are the ultimate.  (Matthew 6:20)

Lay up for yourselves-

I Thess.2:19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  (Versus rust, moth and thieves)

“Earthly treasures will never fully satisfy.  There will always be something wrong with them.  Even the person with everything still desires something more.”  John Stott

Worldly person says I own these things.  Godly person realizes we are stewards who must give account of them.  They are just leased to me. “I am leasing.” This is how I must view myself, and how I view my life in this world.  These things will not be the center of my existence. Wiersbe

Reflective Questions:  What makes a treasure truly valuable?  What are your affections truly set on?  Col. 3:2 (See Growth Group last question)

May what God treasures be what I treasure!

III.            Treasuring His treasures ____________________ my vision.

Matthew 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 

“We need to have spiritual vision, if our spiritual perspective is correctly adjusted, then our life is filled with purpose and drive.   Our vision can be clouded by materialism, we lose our sense of values, then our whole life is in darkness and we cannot see where we are going.  Covetousness causes us to lose our vision.”  E. Stanley Jones

Acts 26:19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,”  Acts 26:17-19

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:12

I do not cling to these things. They do not become the center of my life and existence. I do not live for them or dwell upon them constantly in my mind; they do not absorb my life. On the contrary, I hold them loosely. I am not governed by them; rather do I govern them; and as I do this I am steadily securing, and safely laying up for myself, “treasures in heaven.”  Hughes

 

Lord, Give me a heavenly vision of what you treasure.

May my heart, soul and vision be what you treasure! 

 

Growth Group questions for July 29th

 

Icebreaker:  Besides your family and friends, what do you see as your most valuable possession?  Why is it so valuable?

 

1.   Read Matthew 6:16-24.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

2.   Read Matthew 6:16-18, Leviticus 23:27, Acts 13:2,3.  Describe what the Pharisees were doing?  What is wrong with this approach?    What is the right way to fast?  What kind of fasts have you done and why?

3.   Read Matthew 6:19-20, Colossians 3:2, I Timothy 6:17-18.  How does materialism tie our hearts to this earth?  How does generous giving tie our heart to the Father? 

4.   Read Matthew 6:21, Hebrews 11:13, Job 1:21.  How can recognizing that we are pilgrims on this earth be an antidote to materialism?  Discuss this quote: “The worldly person says I own these things.  The godly person says I am leasing these things.”  What things are the hardest for you to not feel like you own?

5.   Read Matthew 6:22-24, I Timothy 6:19, I Peter 1:4, Hebrews 13:16. What are the contrasts given in Matthew 6:22-24?  What truths are absolute from this passage?  Reading the other passages, what kind of vision do you see being presented?  How can this help you? 

 

Personal Reflective Questions:   Examine your heart and life before God

What occupies my thoughts when I have nothing else to do? What occupies my daydreams? Is it my investments, my position? If so, those are the things I treasure, and that is where my heart really is. Similarly, what is it that I fret about most? Is it my home or perhaps my clothing? If so, then I know where my treasure lies. Apart from my loved ones, what or whom do I most dread losing? What are the things that I measure others by? (This question is a very revealing mirror because I measure other people by that which I treasure.) Do I measure others by their clothing? By their education? By their homes? By their athletic prowess? Do I measure others by their success in the business world? If so, I know where my treasure lies.

Lastly, what is it that I know we cannot be happy without?  

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Seeking His Kingdom First

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Seeking God’s Kingdom First Matthew 6:22-34

August 5, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 6:22-34

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

How do we seek God’s kingdom first in our everyday lives? 

Big Idea: Seeking His Kingdom first transforms my vision, values, concerns and ambitions. 

I.               Treasuring His treasures transforms my vision.

Matthew 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 

“We need to have spiritual vision, if our spiritual perspective is correctly adjusted, then our life is filled with purpose and drive.   Our vision can be clouded by materialism, we lose our sense of values, then our whole life is in darkness and we cannot see where we are going.  Covetousness causes us to lose our vision.”  E. Stanley Jones

Acts 26:19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,” 

Acts 26:17-19

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

Revelation 5:12

I do not cling to these things. They do not become the center of my life and existence. I do not live for them or dwell upon them constantly in my mind; they do not absorb my life. On the contrary, I hold them loosely. I am not governed by them; rather do I govern them; and as I do this I am steadily securing, and safely laying up for myself, “treasures in heaven.”  Hughes

Lord, Give me a heavenly vision of what you treasure.  May my heart, soul and vision be on what you treasure. May your Vision be mine!

II.             Seeking His Kingdom first changes my concerns.

“Therefore” is used three times: Matthew 6:25, 31, 34

Trinity of cares:  What shall we eat? What shall we drink? we wear?

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Matthew 6:31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?  32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Ignorant worry – Do not know enough

Knowledgeable worry – Know too much

Rich worry – Afraid of losing what they have.

Poor worry – Do not have enough.

Old worry – Because they are facing death.

Young worry – Because they are facing life.

Anxious/worry – means to be distracted and consumed by the cares of this world.

Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

“No person ever sank under the burden of the day.  It is when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today, that the weight is more than a person can bear.”  George Macdonald

 I Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Make God’s Concerns my concerns

III.           Seeking His Kingdom first changes my ambitions.

Matthew 6:32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“If worrying is dominating my life, then I am really behaving like those who do not know God.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Mt. 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

“Worrying does not enable you to escape evil. It makes you unfit to cope with it.”  Kent Hughes

Mt. 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 12:32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” 

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Instead of worrying, seek!  When seeking, trust!

Our Heavenly Father can be trusted with every detail of our lives.

Growth Group questions for August 5th

Icebreaker:  Share something that brings anxious thoughts to you.  What do you do to help deal with these thoughts?

1.   Read Matthew 6:22-34.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

2.   Read Matthew 6:22-24.  Discuss how money is a horrible master.  Why is debt such a difficult master?  What would you share with a new follower of Jesus about God and money? 

3.   Read Matthew 6:25-30.  Reflect on this passage.  What are they doing that is wrong?  What examples does Jesus give them to help them?  How do these principles help you with your concerns?

4.   Why does worrying about material things cause us to live like those who do not know God?  Why is worry incompatible with the Christian faith?  We are free from worry but not free from trouble and trials.

40% worry about things that will never happen.

30% worry about things that have already happened.

12% worry about unfounded criticism.

10% worry about our health.

8% worry about actual problems.

5.   Read Matthew 6:31-33, Philippians 4:6-8. In both passages, what are they doing that is wrong?  What are they commanded to do? What does seeking God and His righteousness mean to you?

6.   Read Matthew 6:34, James 4:14.  How do these verses put tomorrow in a godly perspective?   

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Dynamic Prayer

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Dynamic Prayer Matthew 6:5-15

July 22, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 6:5-15

Big Idea:  Prayer is dynamic when filled with God first and us second.   God first, my needs second!  “Lord, teach us to pray,” (Luke 11:1b).

Matthew 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Dynamic Prayer: 

      I.         Focuses on _________ first and foremost!

The essence of Christian prayer is to seek God.  Behind all true prayer lies a conversation which God initiates:  “Thou has said, “seek my face.’ My heart says to thee, ‘thy face, Lord do I seek.” Psalm 27:8

A.   Deals with the intruder of ________________________.

Matthew 6:5“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Room-tameion- was used for a room where treasures might be kept.

“Secret prayer is a key to purify our motives in praying. Regarding the practice of prayer in general, Jesus has contrasted the pharisaic way (ostentatious and selfish) with the Christian way (secret and godly).”Stott

Matthew 6:7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“Self-adulation is something that follows us even into the very presence of God.  It sometimes produces this result; that even when we try to persuade ourselves that we are worshipping God, we are actually worshipping ourselves and doing nothing more.” D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

B.    Focuses on our relationship with ________ as ______________.

Matthew 6:9 Pray then like this:  “Our Father in heaven,”

Our Father-(see Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:15, John 1:12, Galatians 3:26). The word “Father” is used 14 times in OT and 60 times in the Gospels.

·      He is __________________.

·      He is ______________. 

·      He is __________________.  

Psalm 27:8 You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”

Matthew 6:9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

    II.          Prays for this ____________ to know Jesus Christ as Lord.

Hallowed by your name- Set apart as holy/ to treat as holy/Awe

Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

John 17:6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.”  Psalm 34:3

God first, us second!  Lord, teach us to pray!

   III.         Expects and asks for ________________ rule to come.

Your kingdom come- bringing people into obedience to God’s will.

Expectation- longing for the glorious and final consummation of the kingdom of God.  Desiring His kingdom rule to come to hearts.

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  2 Peter 1:11, Ephesians 6:12

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (attitude of submission)

“I invite you God to conquer me. I will submit on earth like I will be in heaven.”  Psalm 40:8 I delight to do your will, O my God; (Matthew 26:39).

Either His will or my will be done.

Prayer:  Lord, I want to focus on submitting completely to your will!

 IV.         Intercedes for _________: physical, soul and spirit. (Dependence)

“Your to Our”- necessities rather than luxuries.

Matt. 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread:  (Petition) physical needs

Matt. 6:12 and forgive us our debts: (Confession). Spiritual needs

Matt.6:12b as we forgive our debtors: (Compassion) relational needs

Matt.613 And let us not into temptations but deliver us from evil: (moral needs, expressing our dependence upon God in every area of life.)

John 17:15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  (2 Timothy 4:18, 2 Thess.3:3)

“Do not allow us to be led into temptation that it overwhelm us, but rescue us from the evil one.”  Stott

“If a man knows that he is forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ, is a man who must forgive others.  True forgiveness breaks a man and He must forgive.”  Ephesians 4:32

Commitment:  I will ask God to teach me to pray.  I will put God first in my prayers and my needs second.   

God first, us second!  Lord, teach us to pray!

Growth Group Questions for July 22nd

Icebreaker: Tell about a person who is a powerful prayer warrior.  What made their prayers so powerful?

1.   Read Matthew 6:5-15.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

2.   Read Matthew 6:5-8.  Describe what the Pharisees were doing?  What is wrong with this approach?    How could we fall into the same trap today?  How does secret prayer purify our prayer life? 

3.   Read Matthew 6:9.Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:15, John 1:12.  Write down how God is presented as father in these verses.  Why is the father’s heart of God critical to making our prayers dynamic?    What does “in heaven” teach about God’s power to answer prayer?

4.   Read Matthew 6:9b-10. How can the following three statements enhance your prayer life: “Holy by your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done.”  Share some ways that this could be modeled in your prayers.

A.B. Simpson shares that God does not give us all the grace we need in one big lump sum. We couldn’t handle it.  An earthly father realizes the danger in doing that as well.  He puts it into the bank and lets him draw it out a little at a time with a check.  Prayer is our check to have an avenue to receive the grace we need to face every situation.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Our daily check. 

5.   Read Matthew 6:11-13.  Describe how each one of these requests is a daily check that we need to be asking God.  How does each one bring a new life to your prayer life?

6.   Read Matthew 6:9-13.  Go through the prayer and describe how it expresses an attitude of awe, submission, dependence and complete confidence in His love.

7.   Read Matthew 6:14-15.  How does bitterness and unforgiveness interrupt my relationship with God?  This passage means that the proof that you and I are forgiven is that we forgive others.” Jones .       2 Cor. 2:10-11.  What problems arise when we do not forgive others? 

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Living

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Living our Lives to Please God Matthew 6:1-4

July 15, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 6:1-4, Psalm 139-23-24. 

Big Idea:  Our greatest goal is to please God in our actions, motives and manner of living.  All for His Glory!

Matthew 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Living with a single focus to please God means:

I.               My motives are dedicated to glorifying God.

Matthew 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

6:1 To be seen of them- with the view or intention of being beheld of them.  Same expression is used in 5:28 and also in Matthew 5:16. The difference is one is in self glorification and one in God glorification.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Luke 16:15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

A.   Beware of inward divisions in our motives.

Matthew 6:1a “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them.”  (Romans 7:23)

Matthew 7:22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’  Matthew 23:5

B.   Surrender our motives to purity of His glory.

Matthew 6:2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

2 Corinthians 5:9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.  2 Corinthians 13:5, Psalm 139:23-24, Hebrews 4:12.

Prayer:  God, examine me, my thoughts, motives and to purify them by your Words of life.  All for His Glory!

II.             My actions are dedicated to glorifying God.

Matthew 6:3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

The secret is not in conflict with 5:16. Luther has the key: “Thus I do not see it even though other people may see it.”  The left hand does not represent men who are, indeed, to glorify God on seeing my good works. The left hand represents myself just as the right hand does; the right, me with my good deed, the left, me with my good opinion about my good deed.   If then, the left does not even know what the right is doing, I shall be absolutely free of desiring any praise or credit from men.  This is the secrecy Christ wants even when all the church knows my deeds. Lenski

Acts 20:35b  remember the words of the Lord Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  2 Corinthians 9:7b God loves a cheerful giver.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

I dedicate my acts of giving to the glory of God.  Lord, help me to refrain from keeping track.  God keeps track. All for His Glory!

III.             My greatest rewards will be from God. 

Matthew 6:4b so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And as we help others we must guard our eyes from wandering from those we are helping to the observers.  Do not keep track. Do not give yourself merit marks.  Forget your goodness.  Follow God. Do it, forget it. Hughes

Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:18, 10:42, 25:40.

“Let’s do everything we can to please Him.  We shall find that God will have an account.  Nothing we have done will be forgotten, our smallest act will be remembered.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.  Hebrews 11:6

John 17:4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Prayer:  Lord, I do not want this to be about my glory but all for your glory!

Living to please God makes both what I do and how I do it,                an offering of glory to God.   All For His Glory!

 

Growth Group Questions for July 15th

Icebreaker: What is the nicest thing someone has done for you without you knowing about it?  How did it impact you?

1.   Read Matthew 6:1-4.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be applied to your life.

2.   Read Matthew 6:1, Matthew 5:16, Hebrews 10:24.  Read both verses carefully.  What are differences between them?  How should one share about good works? If at all? How should we encourage one another to serve selflessly?

3.   Read Matthew 6:2.  What is the motive behind what the hypocrites were doing?  Read 2 Corinthians 5:9, Hebrews 11:6, John 17:4.  What should our motives be?  How can we check our motives?

The secret is not in conflict with 5:16.  Martin Luther has the key: “Thus I do not see it though other people may see it.”  The left hand does not represent men who are, indeed, to glorify God on seeing my good works. The left hand represents myself just as the right hand does; the right, me with my good deed, the left, me with my good opinion about my good deed.   If then, the left does not even know what the right is doing, I shall be absolutely free of desiring any praise or credit from men.  This is the secrecy Christ wants even when all the church knows my deeds. Lenski

4.   Read Matthew 6:3, Luke 16:15 and the Lenski quote above.  Discuss what it looks like practically to you to follow the guidelines given by Jesus. 

5.   Read Matthew 6:4, Ephesians 2:10, Hebrews 6:10, Matt.10:42.  What is it that God rewards?  What works has God prepared for us to do?  How is it helpful to know that God notices and rewards every act of service done in His name? 

6.   Why does God mention great is your reward in Matthew 6:1,6:4, 6:6, and 6:18?  What message is He giving the disciples?  How would you explain the rewards God gives to someone who is new to the faith?

7.   Read Psalm 139:23-24.  How is this prayer helpful in keeping our motivation in check? 

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Love Your Enemies

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

How to Really Love your Enemies  Matthew 5:38-48

July 8, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 5:38-48 and Romans 12:18-19.  These passages will look at the fifth and sixth example of how Jesus wants us to fulfill His plan for us as we live as kingdom disciples.

Big Idea:  Being a follower of Christ means loving and serving both friends and enemies as Jesus does.   

Loving your enemies means:

 I.               Resist the need for self-defense and retaliation.

Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Mt. 5:3

The Jewish law of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”

Limited revenge to the exact equivalent one eye for one eye and one tooth for one tooth.  Before that it was unlimited, so that if a man knocked out one of your teeth, you could knock as many of his teeth as you could of his.

The Jewish law limited revenge, Jesus abolished it. Lloyd Jones

“Retaliation always loses, even when it seems to win.  E. Stanley Jones

Matthew 5:40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

Matthew 5:41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. (Leviticus 19:18, I Thess. 5:15)

Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it  to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”                  (I Peter 2:21 & 23)

“Our view of others and treatment of them must never be based upon what they have done, it must be based upon our view and their condition before God.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 5:20)

Prayer:  Lord move my servanthood to include both friends and enemies.  People who have been good to me and people who have not been so good to me.  I cannot do this without depending on you Lord.  You loved me while I was at enmity towards you. 

II.              Serving with generosity to both enemies and friends.

Matthew 5:41. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life.  42 No more tit-for-tat stuff. (The Message). (Acts 3:6)

Treat your enemy as a friend and in the end he will be your friend; or, if he is not, you will become a far finer man in the process.”  E. Stanley Jones

Proverbs 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,  (Psalm 37:21, I Thess. 4:11-12)

It’s natural to want ill for our enemy… but God has called us to want the best for them.  This is an example of our righteousness exceeding the righteousness of the Pharisees and Scribes.  They loved their friends and hated their enemies.  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

I Corinthians 4:12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.  Philippians 2:5 & 2:7)

Don’t let someone else’s actions determine how you shall act.  E. Jones

III.             Live graciously to both enemies and friends.

Matthew 5:43-48 (The Message)

·      Respond with prayer when someone is giving you a hard time.

“God I am having a hard time loving this person, I need your help.”

Matt. 5:44 I’m challenging that.  I’m telling you to love your enemies.  Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.  When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer. ™ Exodus 23:4-5

Our prayer will be that God’s grace may bring our enemies to see their sins and their wrong, to repent, and thus to obtain God’s pardon. Only the agape which Jesus puts into our hearts as his disciples is able to produce such prayer.  Lenski

·      Respond with tangible ways of helping both enemies and friends.

Romans 12:20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  (Matthew 5:45-47)

·      Keep your heart free from bitterness by forgiving them.

Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” 

·      Own it when you fall short, press on towards loving like Jesus loved.

Mt.5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect.  (Phil.3:14, I John 1:9)

 Prayer:  Lord, please make me dissatisfied with loving less than the way Jesus loves.  May every person, both friend and foe, draw the love of Jesus out of me.

Evan Rogers - The Sermon On The Mount - Faithfulness In Marriage and Speech

Seeking God First:  A Study on the

Sermon of the Mount

Faithfulness in Marriage and Speech

Matthew 5:31-39

July 1, 2018

Evan Rogers

 

Today’s Passage: Matthew 5:31-39 & Judges 11:30-35

5 Key questions

1.     What have we learned so far?

2.     What is Jesus Saying in this passage?

3.     What are the implications of this?

4.     What oaths have I made?

5.     How do we keep our word?
 

I. What have we learned in The Sermon On The Mount so far?

Jesus opens the greatest sermon ever given with the Beatitudes, or the seven characteristics of a christian.

He begins by explaining who we should be. (Mt. 5:3-9)

1.     Poor in spirit

2.     Mournful

3.     Meek

4.     Hungry and thirsty for righteousness

5.     Merciful

6.     Pure in Heart

7.     Peaceful
 

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:12)

Then Jesus explains He isn’t widening the road but rather defining its true path. (Mt. 5:17-20)

Jesus also explains that He is not asking us to do something he isn’t already doing.

Then a new section opens up and Jesus begins to talk about what we should do. (Mt 5:21-48)

In this section, He begins to explain that sin is an issue of the heart not an issue of our actions alone.

“External sins are created from unchecked internal thoughts.” –JL

II. What is Jesus saying in this passage

Matthew 5:31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

God takes marriage very seriously! We must be careful not to widen what Jesus has narrowed.

Divorce is to be seen as the last option for extreme circumstances. (Mark 10:5-9, 1 Corinthians 7:39, Malachi 2:16, Mt 19:8-9, L 16:18)

What about bad marriages, full of arguments and problems?

God calls us to work it out even in the case of unbelieving spouses. (1 C 7:10-11)

How do we deal with divorce? How do we help those who have gone through divorce or are going through one now?

God’s word is clear that divorce is permitted in the case of adultery and abandonment, but not always suggested. (Mt. 5:31-32, 1 Co 7:12-16)

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

God takes honesty as serious as marriage, after all, it wouldn’t be a marriage without vows. (Mt. 5:33-39)

Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
    but those who act faithfully are his delight.

III. What are the implications of this?

Dishonesty stems from a heart issue and will branch out into all kinds of unfaithfulness. (Luke 6:45)

Often times if we are struggling in our relationships it is coming from undiscovered heart issues that need to be resolved. (Psalm 119:9-11)

James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.

IV. What oaths have you made?

Have you vowed to be a good spouse? Have you promised to do a better job? Have you told God you would be nicer?

Jesus encourages us not to overcommit. (Mt. 5:33-39)

Judges 11:30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, 31 then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. (11:34-36)

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Jesus is to be our “Lord” or Kyrios – He to whom a person or thing belongs. About which he has power of deciding, Master, Lord.

When we accept salvation we sell our lives to God. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

We cannot claim to be His and yet be our own.

Jesus commands us to love one another. (Mk 12:29-31)

If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. (Jn 14:23)

Dishonesty stems from a heart issue that if left unchecked will cause destruction in our relationships, in our faith, and ultimately destroy our lives.

V. How do we deal with this issue? How do we keep our word?

A.    Start by repenting for all times you have not kept your word.

B.    By reading the word of God earnestly and allowing it to change our hearts. (Psalm 119:9-11, James 1:22)
C.    By choosing to love God with all of our heart, not giving precedence to anything else. (Jn 14:23)

D.    By believing in the work of Jesus to sanctify us. (Acts 26:18)

We all fall short of the glory of God. No matter who you are and no matter what your marital status is there is forgiveness for your mistakes, and God wants to empower you to be holy if you will put your faith in him instead of the strength of your own hands.

Think of all the times someone has lied to you or broken their promises, and choose to forgive that God might forgive you too.

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Private Sins

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Dealing with Private Sins Matthew 5:21-30

June 24, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s Passage:   Matthew 5:21-30 and Philippians 4:8-9

Guiding principles

1.   Beware of the tendency to minimize God’s law.

2.   Beware of the tendency to minimize God’s penalty.

3.   Look for the deeper meaning of God’s commands.

4.   Depend upon His Spirit and Word to guide us into healthy relationships with God and others.

Big Idea:  A close relationship with Jesus will keep both my heart and relationships pure. 

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I.               Unreconciled anger destroys the purity of our relationship with God and others.

Matthew 5:21“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

“Four areas where taking of life is justified are capital punishment, maintaining law and order, self-defense, and a just war.” Wilkins

I John 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Raca-insulting the person’s head-you stupid

You fool- insulting the person’s heart-you scoundrel

Psalm 37:8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.  James 1:19-20

James 1:20 For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.  I Samuel 16:7

·      External sins are created from unchecked internal thoughts.

·      God cares about my inward thoughts.

Six causes of anger:  Violation of rights, disappointment with your station in life, blocked goals, irritations, feeling misunderstood, unrealistic expectations, pathological/psychological

“An angry spirit is never a listening teachable spirit. When we feast on anger and bitterness—the feast is us.”  Kent Hughes

Prayer:  Lord, Keep my heart from anger and insult.  Show me the cause of my anger and resources to help with it. 

II.             Reconcile differences before estrangements solidify.

Matthew 5:23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. 

“Nurture relationships with everyone.  Do not do anything that strips away the personal distinctiveness of a brother or sister.  Do whatever we can to be reconciled.”  Wilkins

Ephesians 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:32

Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

 Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Prayer:  Lord, please help me guard all the approaches of sin to my heart by examining my relationships with others.

III.             Pure thoughts keep a pure relationship with Jesus.

Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

God cares about my inward thoughts.

A.    Starve the intake of impure information.

Psalm 101:3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.        Job 31:1

Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 

“Deeds of shame are preceded from fantasies of shame.” John Stott

B.    Feed the intake of clean spiritual food and power.

Psalm 51:6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

We need to not only study the Word but we need the Word to study us.

C.  The Holy Spirit inside the believer will give the power.

John 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:

Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  John 16:8 

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.  I Corinthians 9:27, 15:31b

I Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:  that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Prov.28:13

Jesus, my relationship with you is the most important thing in my life.  Jesus let my relationship with you shine into all of my relationships.

 

Growth Group Questions for June 24th

 

Icebreaker: Describe a time when you or someone may have received a ticket for something you deemed to be minor or not the spirit of the law.

1.   Read Matthew 5:21-30.  Summarize in your own words what you hear Jesus saying.  Ask God to speak to your heart and how these verses can be currently applied to your life.

2.   Consider the two principles of this passage( Read Mt.5:21-30):  a. Jesus is in total harmony with the Old Testament and bringing the full extent of the law. b. Jesus is in disharmony with the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees.  How do you see these two principles  illustrated in regards to murder?   In regards to adultery? 

3.   Read Matthew 5:21-22, James 1:20 Ephesians 4:26,27 &29, Luke 12:45.  What is the difficulty with being angry with someone?  What does Jesus say is wrong with saying disparaging comments to another person?  Why are our words so important to our testimony?  How are our words a representation of our heart attitude?

4.   Read Matthew 5:23-26.  What is Jesus teaching us to do when we find ourselves angry with someone?  How do unreconciled relationships affect our worship? 

5.   Read Matthew 5:27-30.  What does Jesus say to do regarding lustful intent?  Read Colossians 3:5-6, Romans 8:13, 13:14.  What things should we starve?  Read Philippians 4:8, Psalm 119:9,11.  What things should we continually feed?

6.   Read Matthew 5:8.  Examination questions to keep us on track:  Lord, do I know you better today?  Am I pleasing you with my thoughts and actions?  Have you been supreme in my life today?  Read Psalm 139:23-24.  Lord, let nothing come between my heart and yours and my heart and others.

May my relationship with you, Jesus impact all of my other relationships!   

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - God's Law

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

God’s Law and My Heart Matthew 5:17-20

June 17, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 22:37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Big Idea: God’s law shows me my need for transformation.  Transformed hearts (inward) live transformed lives(outward.)

I.              God’s law is so important that Jesus had to fulfill all of it.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

John10:35

Abolish-to annul or destroy

Fulfill-suggest an image of a vessel which is filled to the top.  The mission of Jesus is to fulfill the Law and Prophets not partially but in total. Every blessing of the Beatitudes flows from Christ and from what he did for us by His fulfillment. Lenski

Two Propositions of this passage:  Jesus teaching is in total harmony with the Old Testament.  Jesus teaching is in disharmony with the scribes and Pharisees.  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Romans 3:20

What was happening upon the cross was that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was enduring in His own holy body the penalty prescribed by the holy law of God for the sin of man.  The law condemns sin, and the condemnation that it pronounces is death. Lloyd Jones

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 

Galatians 3:24

I love the Christ of “I came not to destroy,” but I love more the Christ of “But I say unto you.” The first Christ saves truths, the second Christ saves me. E. Stanley Jones

Father’s Day affirmation:  God move me from an external only obedience to a completely surrendered heart to Jesus.

II.            Jesus desires to fulfill God’s law in our surrendered lives.

Matthew 5:19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

The law and all the prophets point to him and will be fulfilled in Him down to the smallest detail.  Everything that is in the law and the prophets culminates in Christ, and He is the fulfilment of them.  It is the most stupendous claim that He ever made.  Lloyd Jones

Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. 

Titus 2:12

Romans 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 

Hebrews 8:10

Matthew 23:3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.

Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 

I Peter 4:2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 

Matthew 22:37-39

Prayer for wisdom for fathers and mentors:  Help me to not only deal with externals in my life but to keep my heart in check with God.  Show me how to love my loved ones with my whole heart!  Show me how to disciple those God has placed under my influence. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

When Jesus transforms my internal heart, I want my outward life to be salt and light for God’s glory.

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Salt and Light

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

God’s Way to Impact our World Matthew 5:13-16

June 10, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other!   It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5:13“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Big Idea:  God has called us to make a public difference by displaying His sweetness, direction and deeds for His glory. 

Realizing that the Beatitudes are essentially interior, one might be tempted to think they can be lived in isolation—away from the world that is so contradictory to the things of God. But actually it is impossible to live these eight norms of the kingdom in private. They are powerfully social and outward when put to work. That is why Christ crowns them with two brilliant and searching metaphors (salt and light) that tell us how those who live the Beatitudes must relate to the world.  Kent Hughes

Saved people serve people. Saved people love people.

Saved people reach people.

I.               Salt makes a difference by displaying God’s sweetness.

Matthew 5:13“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”

Salt’s main role is to prevent putrefaction and decay.  Salt first and then light?  Why this order? 

Mark 9:50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.  I Peter 3:15

Acts 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

Matthew 5:13 “Let me tell you why you are here.  You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.  If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”  (The Message)

Prayer: I have a greater opportunity today than I have ever had before.  Lord, use me to be salt in every situation and relationship in my life.

Reflective Questions:  How can I bring God’s sweetness to the people God has placed in my life? At my job, school, and to my neighbors?

Salt brings God’s sweetness to difficult situations.

 Saved people serve people. 

II.              Light makes a difference by bringing direction.

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

I John 5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.  John 1:5

John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Psalm 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

John 12:35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”  John 3:19

The purpose of light is to expose darkness.  The purpose of light is to show a way out of darkness.

Ephesians 5:8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. 

2 Cor. 4:6

2 Cor. 3:18

I have received light. I have been made light. May I become a transmitter of light. Saved people love people.

III.            Good deeds make a difference by glorifying God.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I Peter 2:12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Titus 2:8

Eph. 2:10

I Peter 2:9-10

The first beatitude insists on self-renunciation; now Jesus offers self-expression in world-compassing terms.  He can make that offer now, for the kind of self-expression that has a renunciation at it center is safe for the man and for the world. E. Stanley Jones

I Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

Saved people serve people.  Saved people love people. Saved people reach people. 

Brighten the corner where you are!

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Persecution

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Blessed are those who are Persecuted Matthew 5:10-12

June 3, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Matthew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4.God blesses those who mourn,

for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

 

You start with the kingdom of heaven and you end with it.  They all get blessings, but our Lord started and ended with this particular promise in order to impress upon His listeners that the important thing was the membership of the kingdom of heaven.

 

Big Idea:  A kingdom mindset towards tribulation/persecution brings great rewards and enduring peace.

 

I.               Mindset check:  You will experience trials/persecution.

 

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  John 16:33, 2 Timothy 3:12

 

“Do not be afraid of a few scars for His sake.”  Adoniram Judson

 

I Peter 4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,

 

Strange to say and a general paradox to all the designations of the godly thus far used, in particular also of the last, peacemakers, these people, loving and working for peace, shall themselves be accorded the opposite of peace in this warring world.  Lenski

 

Godly people have gone through trials:  Job, Daniel, Joseph, Paul, Jesus. 

 

Action Item:  Help me to deal with any false ideals I have about trial/persecution.

 

How should you react to trials/persecution?

 

II.             Mindset check: Trials have eternal advantages.

 

Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

 

This beatitude casts a special glamour over it, making one welcome persecution when it comes.  Come it will as the Lord here intimates.

The tense of this text is different from the other texts because they showed more of an inner attitude.  They did not flee persecution but willingly submitted to it when it came to them.  They have stood firm in trials. Lenski

 

James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

 

A.    Mindset check: Look beyond the trial to the reward.

 

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 2 Cor. 4:17-18

 

Hebrews 11:26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.

 

Key Belief:  Whatever may have been taken will be made up in heaven.

Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

 

B.   Mindset check: Don’t allow bitterness/resentment to rule you.

 

Matthew 5:12b For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  And they cast lots to divide his garments.  Eph. 4:31-32, Ps.130:3

 

Mirror theology vs. Window theology

 

Our hearts should break for those who are persecuting us. 

 

III.            Mindset Check: Set your wings higher.

 

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  Acts 5:41, Phil 2:5

 

Three things should govern us: Who I am, my consciousness of where I am going, and my knowledge of what awaits me when I get there.  E.Jones

 

Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Philippians 1:29

 

“The wounds and hurts are medals of honor. They attest we belong to Christ not to the world.”  Lenski

 

Prayer: Lord help me not to retaliate or live in resentment.

Please bring me to a place in which I do not resent persecution.

Help me to rise above it with your help!  I look to you!

 

 

Growth Group Questions for June 3rd

 

Icebreaker:  Share what comes to your mind when you hear trial and persecution.

 

1.   Read Matthew 5:3-12.  Discuss how the eight beatitudes build on each other.   What is it surprising that a persecution beatitude is followed with being a peacemaker?

 

2.   Read Matthew 5:10, John 16:33, 2 Tim. 3:12, I Peter 4:13-14.  Write down what each one says about persecution/trials.  How are they similar and different?  What are they teaching?

 

3.   What is right or wrong with this quote: “I am living for God so I should not have bad things/trials happen to me.”  What are some pitfalls to avoid in dealing with persecution? 

 

4.   Read Matthew 5:11-12. How can one be blessed when these things are happening?  What three reasons does Jesus give in 5:12?  Which one speaks to you the most? 

 

5.   Read Matthew 5:44, Luke 23:34, Job 42:8.  How did Jesus deal with those who persecuted him?  Describe the importance of prayer in changing our mindset.  Lloyd Jones- Our hearts should break for those who are persecuting us.  Why is resentment and retaliation such a great foe in our souls? 

 

6.   Read Hebrews 11:26-27, 12:2, 2 Cor.4:17-18.  Jesus tells us to rejoice for our reward is great in heaven.  How did Moses, Jesus and Paul adjust their attitude towards persecution?   What adjustments do you need to make?  How could God use my trial for a greater witness?

 

7.   What is a difficult trial you are facing?  Reach out for prayer and God’s help to navigate through it.

 

Matthew 5:12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

Scott Smith - The Sermon On The Mount - Peacemaking

Seeking God First:  A Study on the

Sermon of the Mount

Blessed are the Peacemakers

May 27, 2018

Scott Smith

 

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Matthew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

 

Big Idea:  God gives us the power to make peace

 

Meaning of the words: “Blessing” and “Peacemaker”

 

Blessing: Joy-filled, Happy.

 

Peacemaker: Reconciler (Not Ambassador, Compromiser, or Lawyer)

 

There is Significance to the order of the beatitudes.

 

Peacemaking builds upon purity and is a foundation before persecution.

 

Purity is a prerequisite for peacemaking.

 

How do we compare to super heroes?

 

The life of a christian shouldn’t be hard… It should be impossible.

 

God empowers us to be peace makers.

 

God chooses to create peace in this world through us by empowering us through His spirit.

 

How do we find and keep this peace making power?

 

1. Thanksgiving and praise

 

2. Humility

 

3. Dying to ourselves

 

4. Giving up our rights

 

Why is it so important to be a peacemaker?

 

Jesus was the ultimate peacemaker.

 

Jesus reconciled us with our creator, by making the ultimate sacrifice. If we accept Him into our lives He will empower us to reconcile others with their creator.

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Purity

Seeking God First: A Study on the Sermon of the Mount
Blessed are the Pure in Heart Matthew 5:8

May 20, 2018
Pastor John Lloyd

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for
Him in an upside down world. This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting,
yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It
is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and
applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available
throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons
taught from the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for
him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4.God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the
earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they
shall be satisfied. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Psalm 24 NLT)
Big Idea: Purity in heart is a gift given to those surrendered to God. Purity
brings fresh power and vision.
Pure- Katharoi- single devotion/undivided in heart
I. The cry of our heart is for purity.
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from
my sin”?
A. Purity is not an outward expression only.
Matthews 23:25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you
clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed
and self-indulgence. Matthew 23;27-28
Common misconception: I can make myself pure on my own.

B. Understand how God purifies hearts.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
In heart-Kardia- refers to the inner self, including the volition, the mind and
the desires.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick;
who can understand it? (Mark 7:21-23)
“The gospel of Jesus is always concerned about the heart: all its emphasis
is upon the heart. Jesus is always talking about heart in the Gospels.
Pharisees did things externally right but were not pure in their hearts.
The heart is the whole center of his teaching.” E. Stanley Jones
Hebrews 9:14 How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the
eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience
from dead works to serve the living God. (Hebrews 10:22, Acts 15:9)
Titus 3:5 He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness,
but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and
renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus
Christ our Savior,
Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of
his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After
making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on
high,

Increase my vision of the cleansing power of Jesus!
II. Purity grows through expressing mercy and righteousness.
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for
they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive
mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Passion for righteousness and compassion for men--- this is purity of
heart.” E. Stanley Jones

How do we stay pure? How do walk in purity each day?
A. Purity is preserved by replacing lesser desires with a greater desire.
Psalm 24:4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up
his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. (Ps. 24:5-6)
“Your chief defense against sinful lust is an all-out offensive of sanctified
lust. If you will set your hearts upon the supremacy, sufficiency and beauty
of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in this posture of continual satisfied delight in
Jesus that the lusts of our flesh and this world evaporate into vapors like
the steam on our morning coffee.” Kevin DeYoung
Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I
may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon
the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. (Colossians 3:1)
God, reveal your glory and majesty to my soul!
B. Immersion and interaction with God’s word renews His majesty.
Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it
according to your word. (Psalm 119:11, Colossians 3:16)
John 15:3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to
you. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
C. Obedience to God increases my vision of God’s majesty.
See- to experience, to undergo, to understand. (Matt. 5:8, I Peter 1:22)
I John 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not
yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,
because we shall see him as he is. 3And everyone who thus hopes in him
purifies himself as he is pure. (Revelation 22:3-4)
Psalm 51:10. Create in my a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast
spirit in me.

It goes well with those who walk in purity
because they continually see the majesty of God!

Growth Group Questions for May 20th

Icebreaker: Share what comes to your mind when you hear the word
purity.
1. Read Matthew 5:3-8. Discuss how the six beatitudes build on each
other. From the world’s point of view, how is it surprising that the
“pure in heart” shall find happiness?
2. Read Mark 7:21-23, Jeremiah 17:9. Discuss these verses and this
quote: “The tragic fallacy of the last hundred years has been to think
that all of man’s troubles are due to his environment, and that to
change the man you have nothing to do but change his environment.”
D.Marytn Lloyd Jones. What was the environment like in the Garden
of Eden? What tragic thing happened there? Genesis 3:6-7
3. Reflect on Galatians 2:21, Titus 3:5, Proverbs 20:9. Discuss how
these verses show us we cannot make ourselves pure. Why is it not
just about external observations but the heart?
4. Study Matthew 5:8, Hebrews 1:3, 9:14, 10:22. What do these
passages teach about how our souls are purified? Why is this
understanding key in maintaining purity?
5. Discuss Kevin DeYoung’s statement of fighting lust with lust. “As we
considered the fact that lusts are desires, and in the Scriptures these desires can
be good or bad, this depends on how they line up with the will of God. So how do
we fight these desires? We do it with desires. Your chief defense against sinful
lust is an all-out offensive of sanctified lust, if you will. It is to set our hearts upon
the supremacy, sufficiency, and beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in this
posture of continual satisfied delight in Jesus that the lusts of our flesh and this
world evaporate into vapors like the steam on our morning coffee.” Read
Colossians 3:1-5. What is Paul teaching?
6. Read Matthew 5:8, Colossians 3:16, Psalm 119:9. What role does
the Word of God have in giving us a greater vision of God and purity?
Pray for each other for God to increase our vision of His majesty!

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

 

Emily Babiak - Sermon On The Mount - Mercy

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon

 of the Mount

Blessed are the Merciful Matthew 5:7

May 13, 2018   Mother’s Day

Emily Babiak

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be amazed and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4. God blesses those who mourn,

for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

Mercy: having compassion or pity for the miserable; putting forth effort to meet a need.

Big Idea: We all need mercy – from God and our communities. Every relationship would be healthier if we learned to give and receive mercy more fully.

I.  God’s _____________ came first:

Part of God’s character is mercy/lovingkindness. He will forgive you and
not forsake you. This is a promise in scripture.

    “For it is the very character of God which cements our faith.”

Exodus 34:6 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

Psalm 86:5  For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

Lamentations 3: 22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.

II. Jesus’ teaching on ______________ and __________________ mercy:


    a) The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant—Matthew 18: 21-35

“I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?”

If we take notice of how much mercy has been extended to us already, we should be more willing (even eager) to show mercy to someone else.

 b) The Parable of the Good Samaritan-–Luke 10:30-37

 “The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

There are four steps we can follow in showing mercy to others:

1. See ______________.

2. Have _____________________________.

3. Enter into another’s __________________________.

4. Offer __________.

How can you apply these steps to one of your relationships?

III. Jesus tells us the merciful will be blessed and will receive mercy. The mercy we receive now/not yet from our Heavenly Father is the best gift of mercy there is, but we will also receive mercy now in our earthly relationships.

IV. Mercy seen in Motherhood:

Whether you are a parent, a supervisor, a co-worker, a friend or a child, you have opportunities to practice giving and receiving mercy right where you are. Giving mercy will open the gates for a softer heart, better connections, deeper relationships with those around you.

V. How have you received mercy from others?

    A comment made?


    A need met?

    A service provided?

    Other:_____________________________

VI. Conclusion

Mercy is part of God’s character, we are called to be merciful as our Father in Heaven is merciful. We can give mercy to others because we have first received such a great mercy (eternal life) from our Father through His Son, Jesus. The good Samaritan shows us a great example of giving mercy to those around us. Jesus ends that parable with the command “Go and do likewise.”

Go and be merciful.

 

Growth Group Questions for May 13th

 

1.     Read Matthew 5:3-7. Discuss how the five beatitudes build on each other. Which beatitude so far would produce a merciful soul?  From the world’s point of view, why is it surprising that the merciful shall find happiness?  What do you think of this translation? “Because they have already obtained mercy, therefore they are merciful.”

2.     Read Matthew 5:7. Discuss this quote by E. Stanley Jones:  “The thirst for righteousness needs the correction of mercy, then vice versa, mercy needs the correction of righteousness.  Mercy without righteousness is mushy.  To be merciful toward the failings and sins of others without a moral protest at the heart of the mercy ends in looseness and libertinism.  Either righteousness or mercy taken alone offends the senses, but put together there is the breath of a heavenly scent upon them.”   Why do you think this balance is so important?

3.     Read Luke 10:29-37  Discuss what this passage teaches you about God’s mercy.  Why is mercy more than just a thought but an action?  Consider the thought that mercy helps relieve a person in their misery.

4.     Read Psalm 103:8,10-13, Psalm 130:3. Describe how you see God’s mercy reflected in these verses.  How do these verses encourage us to be merciful? 

5.     Read Luke 18:9-14. What is the difference between the two people mentioned in this passage?  What difference do you see an experience of God’s mercy making in someone’s life?

6.     Read Hebrews 2:17-18, Luke 6:36. How can Jesus be merciful to those who call on Him? Why does being merciful reflect Jesus?  Think of someone you can display mercy to this week.  Pray for this person and an opportunity to express this mercy.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy! 

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Hunger

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon

of the Mount

Blessed are Those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness Matt 5:6

May 6, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4 God blesses those who mourn,

for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.  (Psalm 42)

Big Idea: The most blessed, content people are those who hunger for God and His righteousness resulting in expressing it to others.

I.                Beware of being satisfied with _______________ blessings.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied. 

Isaiah 55: 2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Beware of the “when and then” thinking syndrome.

Ecclesiastes 6:2 A man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil.

I Peter 2:11Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. (Romans 7:23, 2 Corinthians 4:4)

Prayer:  Lord, show me the lesser hungers seeking to control my soul.  Deliver me from the trap of settling for lesser hungers! 

I.               Spiritual health comes from hungering after _________ and His ___________________________.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied. 

Hunger and thirst are very commonly used to express strong spiritual desires and needs. Both participles are durative present tenses, for this hungering and thirsting continues and, in fact, increases in the very act of satisfied. Lenski

A.     This ______________ for God replaces lesser hungers.

Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  Luke 1:53

This desire for righteousness becomes a hunger that eats up the lesser hungers of one’s life, until the man is eaten up with this all-inclusive hunger. E. Stanley Jones

Psalm 63:2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.  2 Timothy 2:22.

I Peter 2:2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— (I Peter 2:1, Matthew 4:4)

May my deepest craving be to be right with God. Spending time with God increases my hunger for God.  Lord, may each decade of my     life find me even more thirsty for a life pleasing to You.

B.    This hunger for God changes my goal for ______________.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.

 

Philippians 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—  Philippians 3:8,10

No greater blessing than seeing others find a right relationship with God.

Isaiah 58:10 If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.  No greater blessing than satisfying the hunger of others who are where you once were.           

Passion for righteousness and compassion for men--- this is purity of heart.

E. Stanley Jones

Blessings come to those who are poured out for others.

I.                True _____________________ comes from hungering after God.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied. 

Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” Ps.107:9

John 7:37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”

Are you filled?  Are you blessed in this sense?  Are you hungering and thirsting? Those are the questions. This is the gracious and glorious promise of God to all such: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.” 

Growth Group Questions for May 6th

 

Icebreaker:  Who is the happiest person you know?  Why do you think they are so happy? 

1.     Read Matthew 5:3-6.  Discuss how the four beatitudes build on each other.  From the world’s point of view, why is it surprising that the hungry and thirsty will be satisfied?

2.      Read Matthew 5:6. How is this hunger different from the things most people hunger for?  How can spiritual hunger for a right relationship with God lead to a blessed and happy life? 

3.     Reflect on this quote by E. Stanley Jones: “This desire for righteousness becomes a hunger that eats up the lesser hungers of one’s life, until the man himself is eaten up with this all-inclusive hunger.”  Discuss how this hunger for God eats up lesser hungers.  How could this help with someone facing an addiction? 

4.     Read Psalm 42:1-3, Psalm 63:1-2, I Peter 2:2.  What are people seeking in these verses?  Discuss how happiness is always the result of seeking something else in the beatitudes (Mt.5:3-6). Discuss this quote: “when people place happiness before righteousness, it’s always doomed to misery.”  Why or Why not?

5.     Read Psalm 63:3-8.  List what you see the Psalmist doing to keep himself spiritual hungry and satisfied with God.  What do you do to help you stay hungry for God? 

6.     Read Matthew 5:6. Focus on the word righteousnessRead Romans 3:21-22, Phil. 3:9, 2Cor.5:21.  How are we made right with God?  How does Paul teach and treasure this righteousness?  In your own words, what does it mean to be right with God?  Who could you share this with this week? 

7.      Matthew 6:33 teaches us to seek the kingdom first and his righteousness.  How does this correlate with Matthew 5:6?  What area do you need help seeking His kingdom/righteousness first?

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Meekness

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Blessed are the Meek Matthew 5:5

April 29, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be amazed and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Matthew 5:3  “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4.God blesses those who mourn,

for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  (Psalm 37:1-11,22, 29, 34)

Big Idea: People who trust God for everything inherit/enjoy God’s best in this life and the life to come.  Help me learn of the meekness of God.

I.                A spirit of ___________________ and service produce meekness.

 

Matthew 5:3  “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4.God blesses those who mourn,

for they will be comforted. 5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.       Blessed – It will go well with

 

Matthew 5:3 plus Matthew 5:4 = Matthew 5:5

 

First, kingdom people do not try to force God’s whole will on a world unprepared for it. Second, God favors the humble, who trust in him rather than their own strength (5:3–5).

 

Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.   Galatians 5:22-23

 

“The man who is truly meek is the one who is amazed that God and man can think of him as well as they do and treat him as well as they do.  That it seems to me, is its essential quality.”  E. Stanley Jones

 

“He that is down need fear no fall.” John Bunyan

 

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

 

Action Point:  Meekness begins by being yoked with Jesus and surrendering to Him in every area. Help me learn the meekness of God.

 

II.               Meekness is a deep ___________ in the sovereign power of God.

 

Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

 

The meek are mild, gentle, patient.  The word refers to an inward virtue exercised toward persons.  When they are wronged or abused they show no resentment and do not threaten or avenge themselves.  The opposite are the vehement, bitter, wild, and violent.  Jesus is the greatest example of meekness. Lenski

 

I Peter 2:23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.  (2 Corinthians 10:1, I Peter 3:4)

 

 “But when a man becomes meek he has finished with all that; he no longer worries about himself and what other people say.  To be truly meek means we no longer protect ourselves, because we see there is nothing worth defending. So we are not on the defensive, all that is gone.”  Lloyd Jones

 

Psalm 37:9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

 

Action Points:

God I trust you with you ______________.

God I trust you will make this _____________ situation right.

 

I am responsible for my response!                                                        Help me learn the meekness of God

 

III.             Meekness brings an incredible ______________________.

 

Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

 

Isaiah 29:19 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.  (Acts 14:22)

 

 

To sum up: The renounced in spirit gain the kingdom of heaven, the mourners gain the kingdom of inner comfort, and the meek gain the earth. So the world above, the world within, and the world around belong to this man. Wanting nothing he inherits all worlds.  E Stanley Jones

 

Ephesians 1:18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

 

Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  (Hebrews 9:15)

 

Meekness is essentially a true view of oneself, expressing itself in attitude and conduct with respect to others. It is therefore fore two things. It is my attitude towards myself, and it is an expression of that in my relationship to others.  D Martyn Lloyd Jones

 

Philippians 4:12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

 

Inherit the earth – What does it mean?  A man who is truly meek is a man who is always satisfied, he is a man who is already content.  Having nothing yet hath all.  As having nothing but possessing all things.

 

Luke 14:11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.

Lord, I make a commitment to learn of your meekness.  I make a commitment to express your meekness in my life’s most difficult situations.  Thank you Jesus for modeling meekness for me.

 

Growth Group Questions for April 29th

 

Icebreaker:  What do you think heirs feel when they inherit something valuable?  If you have inherited something describe how you felt?

 

1.     Read Matthew 5:3-5.  Discuss how the three beatitudes build on each other.  From the world’s point of view, why is it surprising that the meek will inherit the earth?

 

2.      What does meekness mean to you? Why do we feel the need to retaliate when we have been treated unjustly?   

 

3.     Read Psalm 37:1-5, Galatians 5:16.  Meekness is produced by depending upon the Holy Spirit.    What does the Psalmist tell us not to do?  What does he tell us to do?  How would these actions produce meekness?  How does walking in the Spirit produce the fruit of meekness?  Share what you do to develop this type of walk?

 

4.     Read Psalm 37:6-11,22, 29, 34.  What does the Psalmist tell us not to do and to do?  What promises are made to the meek?  How does God take care of the meek? 

 

5.     Read Matthew 5:5 (focus on inherit), Ephesians 1:18, Colossians 1:12 and Hebrews 9:15 (focus on inheritance).  Describe the inheritance God has for those who have surrendered to Him.  What makes this believable or hard to believe for you? 

 

6.      Read Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:12, Acts 14:22.  Why must we trust the Sovereign power of God in this life in order to reign with Him in the next life?  How can Acts 14:22 be helpful in our lives?

 

7.     Where do you find it hard to walk in meekness?  Please share a prayer request with a friend or your group.  I am trusting God to make ___________________________ work together for good. 

 

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. 

Meekness is supreme strength-it possesses itself and possesses the earth.

 

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Mourning

Seeking God First:  A Study on the

Sermon of the Mount

Blessed are Those who Mourn Matthew 5:4

April 22, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be amazed and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Matthew 5:3  “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4.God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 

 

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.      

 

Big Idea: Mourning our losses before God opens our hearts to receive the amazing comfort of God.

 

The loss of anything that a person counts as valuable will produce mourning, whether it’s one’s financial support, or loved ones, or status in society, or even one’s standing before God.  Wilkins

 

Real losses produce mourning in our ____________.

 

Matthew 5:4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

 

Blessed – It will go well with

 

We should not assume that if we are trusting in God we won’t weep, or feel anger, or feel hopeless. Remember Jesus is presented as the suffering servant.  Keller, Timothy.  (See Isaiah 42 & 53)

 

Romans 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (2 Corinthians 1:8)

“The renounced in spirit are affected and affected deeply. Having been cleansed by renunciation they are now more sensitive than ever to the world’s pain.”  E Stanley Jones

 

2 Corinthians 5:2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,

 

The world inflicts blows, losses, and pain upon the godly.  It includes every wrong done us, as well as every painful consequence of our own wrongdoing. Lenski

 

‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.’” (Matt 26:37–38). 

 

Action Steps:  Give yourself permission to grieve your losses.  Give your heart permission to lament the injustices of this world.  Pray the lament psalms to God… Psalm 39, 88.  

 

The surrendered heart is the sensitive heart.

 

 III. Mourning with God expands our souls to _______________ God.

 

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

 

Mourn- the verb denotes a loud mourning such as the lament for the dead or a severe painful loss.

 

As far as contrition is concerned let us keep in mind the first of Luther’s famous 95 Theses, that our entire life must be a continuous contrition and repentance.  God’s people are indeed a mournful lot.  Martyn Lloyd Jones

 

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted  and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 51:17)

 

Some thoughts about pain and mourning:  

 

    1. God uses our pain to get our attention.  (2 Cor.7:9)

 

2. Sometimes it takes a painful experience to get us to change our ways.   (Jonah 2:7)

 

3. Pain teaches us to depend upon God.  (Psalm 119:71)

 

4. God allows pain to give us a ministry to others.  (2 Cor.1:3-4) Isaiah 42:3 a bruised reed he will not break,

God can heal bruised reeds!  God can recycle my pain!

 

God’s _____________ is brought to our souls through our losses.

 

“It will go well with those who mourn, they will receive the comfort of God.”

 

Isaiah 61:3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

 

Comfort is made up of two words, con, “with,” and fortis, “strength”  literally, “strengthened by being with.”   Isaiah 66:13

 

A. Comfort may come through fellow _________________.

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. Pr.27:9

 

Join a Griefshare, Celebrate Recovery, Divorce Care or growth group. It may be helpful for one should also seek counsel of a trained Christian counselor.

 

B. Comfort comes from _____________________ Jesus and His Word.

 

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

 

The greatest comfort is the absolution pronounced upon every contrite sinner.  Because of Jesus we can grieve with hope.  I Thess.4:13

 

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  

 

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 

It will go well with those who mourn, for they shall experience God’s comfort. God can give you strength to face your losses by His grace.

 

Growth Group Questions for April 22nd

 

Icebreaker: How would you describe the word “blessed?” Ask each member to write their definition on a piece of paper. Collect and read each definition, letting the group guess who wrote each one.  What did you learn from these responses?

 

1. Read Matthew 5:4. Consider the word blessed as meaning “it will go with the person who.” How can it go well with the person who is mourning? Why is knowing our sins have been paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus a comfort to one who is mourning?   

 

2. Read Isaiah 61:1-4. Why are people mourning in this passage? What promises are made to those who mourn? How does this bring encouragement to heavy hearts?

 

3. Read Joel 1:13, James 4:9-10. Why are they mourning in these verses? Discuss Martin Luther’s first thesis that followers of Jesus should be a continual state of repentance and contrition over their sins. Why is this helpful or not helpful?  

 

4. Those who mourn feel sorrow not only for their own sin but also for the sin they see around them. What have you heard in the news lately that caused you to mourn?  

 

5. Read Matthew 5:4, Isaiah 66:13, 2 Cor. 1:3-4, 2 Cor.1:8-9.  I will not leave you comfortless. How do you think those who mourn will be comforted? How does it help you that Paul despaired for his life? What did this experience do for Paul?    

 

6. Read Isaiah 53:3-4, Hebrews 7:25, Revelation 21:4. What do you notice about Jesus and his life on earth? What do you notice about his ministry in heaven?  How does his ministry on earth impact his ministry in heaven?

 

7.  Discuss how we can help each other with the losses impacting our souls.  Pray for one another. Pray for those you know who are facing intense trials.  

 

It will go well with those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  

John Lloyd - Beatitudes - The Sermon On The Mount

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Blessed are the poor in spirit Matthew 5:3

April 15, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be amazed and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Big Idea:  The blessed person is the one who recognizes his spiritual poverty and reaches out to the King of Kings.

 

I.               Jesus has a word for all ___________________.

 

Matthew 5:1-2 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

 

The beatitudes are pure gospel.  Lenski

 

Introduction to the Beatitudes:  Who was it addressed to?  

1.    All followers of Jesus are to be like this description.

2.    Followers of Jesus are meant to manifest all of these characteristics.

3.    These characteristics go beyond our natural temperaments.

4.    You will see the essential difference between followers and non-

      followers of Jesus.

a.   What they admire

b.   What they seek after

c.    What they do

d.   They live in an entirely different kingdom.

 

“Happiness is the great question confronting mankind.  The whole world is longing for happiness.  It is tragic to see the ways in which people are seeking it.  The vast majority seek happiness in a way that is bound to produce misery.  The Sermon on the Mount says, if you want to be happy here is the way.  This and this alone is the type of person who is really blessed.”  E Stanley Jones

Character before conduct.

 

II.             Seeking God first redefines ___________________.

 

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matthew is a training manual for Christian discipleship for believers of all ages. A balanced understanding of the Sermon on the Mount will mature our discipleship to Jesus.  Michael Wilkins

 

Blessed- A judgment pronounced, extremely fortunate.  It is a rich promise for the present but a promise of even greater riches in the future.  It is a positive judgment by God that means “to be approved” or “to find approval.”

 

It is a state of existence in relationship to God and from His perspective even when he or she doesn’t feel happy or isn’t presently experiencing good fortune

 

Psalm 2:12b Blessed are all who take refuge in him. 

 

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

 

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

 

Real happiness/blessedness begins when we seek God first!

 

III.             Seeking God first recognizes our ___________________ poverty.

 

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Poor in spirit- cringingly, beggarly poor with respect to spirit.

 

Isaiah 66:2 But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. (Examples of Isaiah in Isaiah 6:5, Peter in Luke 5:8, Paul in Romans 7:24, Philippians 3:8)

 

Psalm 40:17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but he Lord takes thought for me.  You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! 

 

There is no one in the kingdom of God who is not poor in spirit.  It is the fundamental characteristic of the Christian, and of the citizen of the kingdom of heaven, and all the other characteristics are in a sense the result of this one.   As we go on to expound it, we shall see that it really means an emptying, while the others are a manifestation of a fullness.

You cannot be filled until we are first empty.  There are always these two sides of the gospel; there is a pulling down and a raising up.  It is an essential part of the gospel that conviction must always precede conversion; the gospel of Christ condemns before it releases.  Lloyd Jones

 

The greatest filling comes when we realize we are empty!

 

IV.          The ________________ belongs to those who submit to the King.

 

Matt. 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matt. 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Eph 1:3, John 18:36, Rom.14:17)

 

The more we look at Him, the more hopeless shall we feel by ourselves, and in of ourselves, and the more we become ‘poor in spirit’.

You cannot look at Him without feeling your absolute poverty, and emptiness.  Then you say to Him, “Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to Thy cross I cling.” Yeah, all I need, in Thee to find,

O Lamb of God, I come.  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

 

Reflective questions:  Am I like that, am I poor in spirit?  How do I really feel about myself as I think of myself in terms of God and in the presence of God?  How does this happen? 

 

Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.

 

The kingdom of heaven belongs to those who respond to Jesus. 

The way to become poor in spirit is to look at God.  Look at Jesus!

 

Growth Questions for April 15, 2018

 

Icebreaker:  Who has been like a Bible for you?  What did that person say or do that showed God in their life to you?

 

1.   Read Matthew 5:3-12.  As you read make note of what Jesus says is blessed versus what you know the world says makes people happy.  Share the differences.

2.   Read Matthew 5:3, Psalm 1:1-2.  Focus on the word “blessed.” This is more than a state or condition but it is an attitude that grows out of our utter helplessness and need for pure grace and mercy. Discuss what brings on this blessedness.

3.   Read Matthew 5:3.  Read the following passages and discuss what being poor meant to Isaiah in Isaiah 6:5, Paul in Romans 7:24, Phil.3:8, Peter in Luke 5:8 and Jesus in John 14:10.  What does being poor in spirit look like to you? Why is this so critical to spiritual growth and power? 

4.   Read Matthew 5:3-12. Note and discuss the differences between followers and non-followers of Jesus. Compare and contrast what they admire, seek after and do.

5.   Read Matt. 5:3. Focus on the word “kingdom.”  Read Luke 17:21. John 18:36, Romans 14:17.  What does kingdom mean to a follower of Jesus?   What is the worldly definition of the kingdom?  What promises does the king make about the future world?  See Revelation 1:5-7.

6.   How does coming face to face with Jesus help you navigate through the difficulties of this life?  How have you experienced a blessedness despite unfortunate circumstances?

7.   What circumstances/attitudes do you need to bring to Jesus for His help this week?  How can we pray for you?

 

Blessedness is not a description of a present condition, neither a wish regarding a coming condition, but a judgment pronounced upon the persons indicated, stating that they must be considered fortunate. And it is Jesus who renders this judgment, which is therefore absolutely true although all the world may disagree.  All this blessedness is spiritual, each part of it coming from the great Messianic kingdom, true soul-blessedness, a rich possession now but with a glorious promise of still greater riches-the very opposite of the world’s happiness.  Michael Wilkins

Evan Rogers - Introduction to the Sermon On The Mount

Sermon on the Mount

Introduction to the greatest sermon ever

April 8, 2018

Evan Rogers

 

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desires for us to live for Him in an upside down world. This is the greatest sermon ever given. It is uplifting yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other.

Big Idea: The Best way to keep the commandments of Christ is to face the Sermon on the Mount.

--

I. False views of the Sermon on the Mount:

--

1. Metaphorical imagery:

 

The sermon is nothing but metaphors and none of it should be taken practically or literally because He is only referring to spiritual things.

--

2. Elaboration of the law:

 

Jesus is just explaining a further understanding of the Mosaic Law that can provide righteousness through your own hard work

--

3. Dispensational view:

 

This sermon was only for the time before Christ’s resurrection. It has no practical significance to modern Christians.

--

Our View of the Sermon on the Mount:

 

The Sermon on the Mount is an elaborate description of Christ’s new commandments and how to follow them.

--

II. Why we should study the Sermon on the Mount:

 --       

Definition of a Christian: A believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.

--

Jesus died to enable us to live the Sermon on the Mount

--

Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

--

The Sermon shows us our absolute need for the new birth and the Holy spirit in order to live it.

--

Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

--

The more we practice this Sermon the more we shall experience

blessings.

--

Matthew 7:24 Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

--

The more we live out this Sermon, the more people will come to Jesus.

--

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

--

III. 20 Parts

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 1. The Beatitudes - The 7 characteristics of a Christian, and the results of living this way.

 

 2. Salt and Light - Our calling to make a change.

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 3. Fulfillment of the Law - The Law is still a valid and is only possible to live through Christ.

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 4. Anger - The law goes beyond killing, it covers the hidden sin of the heart in anger.

 

 5. Lust - The Law goes beyond adultery, and covers the hidden sin of the heart in lust. 

 

 6. Divorce - The Law goes beyond the false teachings of society and the accepted practices of “believers” in marriage.

 

 7. Oaths - The law goes beyond the teachings of old when keeping your word. 

 

 

 8. Retaliation - The law goes beyond the teachings of old pertaining to revenge.

 

 9. Love Your Enemy - The law goes beyond the teachings of old about enemies.

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 10. Gifts - Do not give for selfish gain.

 

 11. Prayer - Do not pray to be seen.

 

 12. Fasting - Do not fast to be praised by men.

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 13. Treasure in Heaven - Life should be lived for the kingdom of God.

 

 14. Don’t be Anxious - Worry will not help, rather trust in the Lord.

 

 15. Judging Others - Do not condemn another while excusing your sin.

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 16. Ask - Ask and it will be given.

 

 17. The Golden Rule - You will reap what you have sown.

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 18. A Tree and its Fruits - You will know who is teaching truth by the results it brings.

 

 19. I Never Knew You - The action isn’t enough, God will not accept you without a relationship.

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 20. Build your House on the Rock - A parable about the results of your faith.

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IV. Eight Major Sections

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I.  The Characteristics of Christians

 

1. Beatitudes

2. Salt and Light

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Poor in spirit

Ones who mourn

The Meek

Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness

The Merciful

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The pure in heart

The peacemakers

Those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake

Salt of the Earth

Light of the world

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II. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the only means by which men can fulfill the law.

 

3. Fulfillment of the Law

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5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

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III. Christ’s New Commandments

 

4. Anger

5. Lust

6. Divorce

7. Oaths

8. Retaliation

9. Love Your Enemy

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5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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IV. Good things done for selfish reasons won’t please God. Do everything in service to God with love.

 

10. Gifts

11. Prayer

12. Fasting

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6:1“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

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V. Faith requires we live for God each day, therefore humbly examine yourself each day asking if you are living for Him or another master.

 

13. Treasure In Heaven

14. Don’t Be Anxious

15. Judging Others

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6:27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

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VI. Trust That as you follow God’s way of doing things that he will take care of you.

 

16. Ask And It Will Be Given

17. The Golden Rule

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7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

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VII. How to spot the truth, and the result of not following the truth.

 

18. A Tree And Its Fruits

19. I Never Knew You

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7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

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VIII. The results of either following Jesus advice or ignoring it.

 

20. Build your House on The Rock

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Matthew 7:27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

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Closing Thought: When the rains come and the winds beat us will our beliefs hold true or will we fall? Are my beliefs founded on truth or my personal opinion? Are my beliefs founded on the Rock of Christ and his words?

John Lloyd - Resurrection Sunday

"Share His-Story"

Sharing His Story: The Resurrection of Jesus

John 20

Pastor John Lloyd

April 1, 2018

 

The truth of Jesus’ resurrection proves God can do anything.  It is life changing!  Believing and trusting in Jesus is the first step in experiencing resurrection life.  God blesses and rewards a lifestyle that shares His Resurrection.

 

Big Idea:  Believing and sharing His Story changes my life here and forevermore.

 

I.                Look carefully at the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus.

 

I Corinthians 15:1 Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.

John 20:5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there,  (John 20:7-8)

 

A.    Prophets foretold it.     Psalm 16:10,  Hosea 6:2

B.   Jesus promised it.   (John 2:19, Matthew 20:19)

C.  The Pharisees were afraid of it.   (Matthew 27:62-66)

D.  The disciples didn’t believe it at first.  (John 20:9)

E.   The disciples went from fleeing to proclaiming it. (Acts 2:24, 4:13)

 

Action:  Take some time to examine the evidence of the resurrection.  The resurrection is what separates Jesus from all other teachers.

II.              Ask God to reveal the truth of the resurrection of Jesus.

John 20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. John 20:27-28

“We need to remember that even the disciples/ first century people could not have conceived of this happening…  they couldn’t help it, they had seen it.  And it changed their lives.  You know even if you don’t like what I am saying… you should want it to be true… because it means that there is more to this life than what we see. There will be justice for the poor, alleviating of hunger and disease, and caring for the environment.”  Tim Keller

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

The resurrection proves Jesus is who he claimed to be.

Action:  Ask God to reveal to you the Living Christ.

 

III.            Let God’s peace enter your soul through faith.

John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews,  Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  (Romans 5:1, Philippians 4:7)

The resurrection of Jesus means the sacrifice of Jesus has been accepted, thus our sins have been forgiven.

I Corinthians 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

"Christ did not come to do away with suffering; He did not come to explain it; He came to fill it with His presence." --Paul Claudel

John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

 

Action:  Give the things troubling you over to God.

 

IV.          Share His Story with others.

 

John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

John 9:25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

This world needs resurrection life.  This world needs a living Christ.  It doesn’t need just a moral teacher or a good person.  It needs the Living Christ who can change our lives and the lives of those around us.

Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.  (Ephesians 1:19-20)

I Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

I John 5:11And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I John 5:13

The tomb of Jesus Christ is empty because He resurrected and is alive forevermore.

John 11:26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  Your death, burial, and resurrection humble me to ask for your forgiveness.  I desire to live for you and turn from my own ways.  You conquered death for me and I receive your free gift of eternal life.  Help me live my life in close relationship with you.  I believe in you and the power of the Resurrection! 

 

Growth Group Questions for April 1, 2018

Opener:  Discuss something you thought would bring you freedom but did not deliver.  Talk about something you thought would bring bondage but actually brought freedom.  

1.   Read Ephesians 1:16-21Describe in your own words what is happening here.  Why is this important? 

2.   The doctrine of the resurrection was also at the heart of New Testament preaching. (Read Acts 2:31; 4:2, 4:33; 17:18, 32; 23:6&8; 24:15&21; 26:23) Why were the apostles so centered on this resurrection?  What does this teach us? 

3.   Read Philippians 3:10. What are the two things Paul wants to know?  How can knowing these two things help you in your walk with God?

4.   Read I Corinthians 15:14 &17. Why is Paul sharing this with the Corinthians?  What lessons can you take from this truth?  

5.   Consider the fact that no other religion is proven by the resurrection of its founder.  Consider these seven proofs:                                                 

1.The resurrection was proclaimed as fact by the initial apostles (I Cor. 15:5-7). 2. The testimony of a converted skeptic. (I Cor. 15:8-11). 3. The proof of history (Acts 26:23&26).  4. The quality of the apostolic witnesses (Acts 12:2) 5. The number and quality of supportive witnesses (I Corinthians 15:5) 6.  The startling transformation of the apostles (Acts 17:6).  7.  The ongoing experience of the resurrected Jesus Christ (I was blind and now I see) Which one speaks to you the most and why? 

6.   Read Romans 6:4, 8:11. How does the resurrection of Jesus and access to His power bring freedom to our souls?   What things can you do to help you access this power? 

7.   Read and pray Ephesians 1:17-19 for yourself, pray it for a friend or someone in your group.  Why is this prayer so necessary and powerful? Why do we need wisdom, revelation and our eyes enlightened to know and believe these things?