Sermon On The Mount

Dan Harper - Who's Afraid Of Liturgy

Worship Sermon October 14, 2018

Who’s Afraid of Liturgy?



Intro and BIg Idea

  1. My sermon on worship has gone through at least 3 distinct versions

    1. I’m tempted to use PJ’s Big Idea for the sermon as this:

      1. “Be thankful you don’t prepare a sermon every week.”

  2. We have been going through the book Sing! Both during:

    1. The 9 AM class on Sunday

      1. A lot of fun and very practical

        1. A shout out to the Underground Choir!!

    2. Pastor John’s two week mini series on the Getty’s book

      1. Well worth listening to again online!

  3. I want to thank both Laurel Porter and Esther Chan for championing this book and for the Keith and Kristyn Getty for writing it!

  4. I highly recommend reading this book

    1. I think it is still available downstairs or on Kindle

    2. And it is a great reminder that the Church is a singing church.

  5. As I was writing and rewriting this sermon I came across a quote that easily could have been included in the book Sing!

    1. True theology is theology that sings!”  

    2. Listen to  the words of Jesus  in Hebrews 2:12 (ESV): “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

      1. John Calvin makes this comment on this verse:

        1. “Christ is the great Choirmaster who tunes our hearts to sing God’s praise”

  6. So here was my dilemma.

    1. How and what to focus on for this last sermon of this worship sermon series?

      1. I considered taking a hymn apart and putting it back together and singing it with you as the choir.

      2. I considered a sermon that was a quick overview of worship and the comparison of a wedding ceremony to a church service.

      3. But I want to do something a bit different today and discuss something that may seem foreign or strange to some of you but if you bear with me I might say something that makes sense.  

    2. Now that you are completely nervous about this sermon let me make you even more nervous and give the title of the sermon.

Who’s Afraid of Liturgy???

What will be the goal of this sermon?

  1. I’m not going advocate that DPC start worshipping in a dry, dusty, formal liturgical manner and mumble words that we don’t know.

  2. We come from many different backgrounds.  

    1. Most of us are probably from a Free church background or what I might call broadly evangelical

      1. Though I challenge anyone to define evangelical in today’s world!!  

    2. Some of us may have grown up in a more liturgical church

      1. Either Lutheran or Presbyterian or in the Roman Catholic Church.

    3. Some of us didn’t grow up attending church at all and the word liturgis unknown to you.

  3. My goal is threefold:

    1. Define liturgy and show that every church has a liturgy

    2. Make a case for biblical, Trinitarian liturgy.

    3. Make a case for incorporating liturgy in the life of DPC


What is liturgy?

  1. The English word never appears in scripture

    1. So perhaps I should just stop here.

  2. But in the Greek similar words are in Scripture.

  3. Hebrews 8:1–2 (ESV): ...we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.

    1. That word minister is lietourgos ton hagion. A minister in the holy places.  Another way of saying “a high priest”

    2. leitourgos is a close related to leitourgia

      1. Or liturgy

      2. And the original meaning is: public service or worship of the gods.

    3. leitourgos is used several times in the New Testament


Liturgy and New Testament worship

  1. New Testament worship

    1. Many people think they know exactly what it is

      1. But it is quite difficult to pin down exactly what the early church did in worship.

      2. The early church was Jewish so let’s look at how Jewish synagogues conducted their worship services.

        1. We don’t exactly know for much of what we do know comes from a few centuries after Jesus.

      3. Okay, let’s use Scripture. It should give us a template for worship, right?

        1. Not really.  It gives us what the early churches did but not how they did it.  

          1. Breaking of bread - communion.

          2. Teaching

          3. Singing or chanting

          4. Service to others.

        2. Worship was considered more than just meeting once a week.  

          1. One word for worship means service or ministering.

          2. Another word for worship means adoration.

          3. So in English the phrase Adoration and Action is a more complete definition of worship.

  2. There was some sort of liturgy but we can’t specifically define it.

    1. Early on there is evidence of liturgy or an order to the corporate time of worship.

    2. It may have been a Covenant Renewal service

      1. A symbolic renewal based on that sacrificial system of the Old Testament but in a New Testament setting.

        1. with Jesus as our High Priest

        2. And Jesus as the Lamb of God

      2. A quote from Jeffrey Meyers:

“In response to God’s covenantal initiative—His drawing near to us—we submit to His sacrificial work; that is, we confess, thank, praise, and pray as we are renewed through the Spirit and enabled to give unto our Covenant Lord the glory due His Name. And it all culminates with a meal. The Lord serves us bread and wine at the Table, where we experience as a community His shalom.” (The Lord’s Service)

  1. Acts 13:2  (ESV): 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

    1. This could be translated as this: “On one occasion, while they were engaged in the liturgy of the Lord and were fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke to them”

      1. The Greek word for worshipping  is leitourgeo or public, congregational service.

  1. There is not nearly enough time or clarity on my part to go into this deeper.  We can talk later if this piques your interest.

  2. But thanks for bearing with me because while the exact word liturgy is not in Scripture it is referenced at least obliquely many times.


So where are we?

  1. Why did I just spend all this time making a case for liturgy when we are not a liturgical church.  

    1. Our Swedish ancestors broke away from a dead, liturgical church to worship God more purely and simply, right?

  2. Because every church has a liturgy.

    1. Even the most charismatic church without any structure

      1. Has structure even in its absence!!

    2. Example of my church and Mr. Elliot


Okay, so every church has liturgy but ours is not dead and formal.

  1. The presence or absence of a formal liturgy is not an indication of the spiritual health of a church.  

    1. It is simplistic to judge a church by how formal or informal their liturgy is.  

      1. Having said that, there are many churches that their only connection to the Bible and to the Father, Son, 5and Holy Spirit is through the words of their liturgy.  They may not believe it but they say the words!

My second goal for this sermon was to make a case for biblical, Trinitarian liturgy.

Let’s discuss the Trinity for just a minute.

  1. The Trinity is another word that is not explicitly found in the Bible.

    1. Some groups have tried to invalidate the concept because of this

      1. Jehovah Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, etc

  2. Many modern Christians only think of the Trinity as a marker of orthodox belief.

    1. A mere factoid of knowledge that is important but sure why.

    2. Dorothy Sayers, the British writer of the 20th century was a strong Christian and ‘suggests that the average churchgoer’s conception of the doctrine of the Trinity is more like a parody of the Athanasian Creed: “The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the whole thing incomprehensible. Something put in by theologians to make it more difficult—nothing to do with daily life or ethics.”’ (Dorothy Sayers, The Dogma is the Drama)

  3. When a church comes together on Sunday

    1. We go to church

    2. We sing our hymns to God

    3. We intercede for the world

    4. We listen to the sermon

    5. We offer our time, talents, and money to God

    6. No doubt we need God’s grace to do this but we do it because Jesus taught us to do it.

    7. But worship is what we do before God.

    8. Here’s the problem with this. It means the only priesthood is our priesthood; the only offering, our offering; and the only intercession is our intercession.

      1. In Hebrews we saw that Christ is our High Priest.

      2. Christ is our offering for sins.

      3. Christ is our intercessor before God the Father.

      4. The Holy Spirit is the one who prays for us when we can’t

    9. The church I described is not fully Trinitarian in practice even though they truly believe intellectually in the the Trinity.

    10. It’s all about what WE do not what the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have done and continue to do for us.

  4. A second type of corporate worship is this:

    1. The gift of participating through the Spirit in the incarnate Son’s communion with the Father.

    2. It means participating in union with Christ, in what he has done for us once and for all, in his self-offering to the Father, in his life and death on the cross.

    3. There is only one offering that is truly acceptable to God’s and it is not ours. It’s is Jesus’ offering.

      1. Hebrews 10:10 (ESV): 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    4. The meaning of life in the Spirit is expressed in the word, koinonia, which can be translated fellowship, sharing, participation.  

      1. Galatians 4:6(ESV): God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

  5. The difference between our working to satisfy God in corporate worship and our worship being a reflection of the worship between the Trinity is huge.  

    1. When we try to initiate worship it ultimately fails and is unsatisfying

    2. When we our corporate worship as a reaction to what Trinity has and continues to do FOR us, than we truly worship and are satisfied.

  6. In some of the older language of years ago the worship service was called this:

    1. The Lord’s Service.

      1. Where we come and the Lord serves us!!  

      2. We then can be nourished and truly worship Him.


Now liturgy is almost as big a subject as is worship


Let me share you my dream for DPC.  I’m only speaking for myself and no one else.  

  1. This is a bit risky talking out loud without Pastor John being here.

  2. Also, I’m not proposing that ANY of this even be seriously considered

    1. Think of this as an after dinner conversation on the back porch.


A Slightly modified order of worship


Call to Worship/Prayer

Opening Song

Meet and Greet

The Lord’s Prayer (spoken)

(Or occasionally a corporate prayer of confession)

Doxology (sung)

Songs 2-4

Ministry of the Word (sermon)

Ministry of Communion

Pastoral Prayer

Ministry of Giving

Announcements

Final Song

Benediction/Blessing


A Major Change of the order of worship


Announcements on screen before the service,

Call to Worship/Prayer

Sung Response (short)

Corporate Confession

Sung Response

Doxology

Songs 2-4 (Actually 1-3 or 1-4)

Ministry of the Word (sermon)

Ministry of Communion

Pastoral Prayer ending with the Lord’s Prayer

Ministry of Giving

Final Song

Final Blessing and Encouragement


NOTES on the changes


Announcements on screen before the service,

  1. Where to put the annoucements is alway difficult.

Call to Worship/Prayer

  1. God calls us to worship Him.  

  2. Acknowledgement of why we are here.

  3. Preparing our hearts and minds to worship

Sung response

  1. A very short song or chorus

Corporate Confession

  1. Not a long drawn out time because we should be prepared to worship including private confession beforehand

Sung response

  1. A very short song or chorus reflecting on God’s promise to forgive us.

Doxology and/or the Apostle’s Creed

  1. Either both or alternate

Songs 2-4 (Actually 1-3 or 1-4)

  1. A longer time of singing

Ministry of the Word (sermon)

  1. Including the corporate reading of Scripture

Ministry of Communion

  1. As we do now

Pastoral Prayer ending with the Lord’s Prayer

  1. We could sing or recite the Lord’s Prayer

Ministry of Giving

  1. As we do now

Final Song

  1. As  we do now

Final Blessing and Encouragement



Why even think about changes?

  1. First, this is just a conversation not a proposal in any real sense.

  2. This helps DPC integrate not just the doctrine of the Trinity into our services but learn to appreciate and love the communion that comes from the Trinity.

  3. Help integrate even more truth, beauty, and goodness into our life at DPC.



Nevertheless, a few choice insights from the Orthodox liturgist Alexander Schmemann will help illumine the importance of beauty for “modern” man. “The liturgy is, before everything else, the joyous gathering of those who are to meet the risen Lord and to enter with him into the bridal chamber. And it is this joy of expectation and this expectation of joy that are expressed in singing and ritual, …..in that whole ‘beauty’ of the liturgy which has so often been denounced as unnecessary and even sinful.

Unnecessary it is indeed, for we are beyond the categories of the necessary. Beauty is never necessary,’ functional, or useful. And when, expecting someone we love, we put a beautiful tablecloth on the table and decorate it with candles and flowers, we do all this not out of necessity, but out of love. And the church is love, expectation, and joy. It is heaven on earth, according to our Orthodox tradition; it is the joy of recovered childhood, that free, unconditioned and disinterested joy which alone is capable of transforming the world. In our adult serious piety we ask for definitions and justifications, and they are rooted in fear—fear of corruption, deviation, ‘pagan influences,’ whatnot. But ‘he that feareth is not made perfect in love’ (1 Jn. 4: 18). As long as Christians will love the Kingdom of God, and not only discuss it, they will ‘represent’ it and signify it in art and beauty’ (Alexander Schmemann. For the Life of the World; pp 29-30.  Quoted by Jeffrey Meyers, The Lord’s Service)


John Lloyd - Passionate Worship: Respond In Worship

Passionate Worship:  Responding to God in Worship

Psalm 66

September 16, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd


We pray that an army of people would be raised up in the bay area to be, as John Piper says, “white hot worshipers” of Jesus!  We want to teach our children how to passionately worship God both through praise and in their lives. God builds His kingdom within all generations through meaningful worship.  He speaks through the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit; our response should be praise and worship. Pastor John


Psalm 66:1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth; 2 sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!  3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!  So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.  4 All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah 5 Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.  6 He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him, 7 who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations—  let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah     8 Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, 9 who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.10 For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.  16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. 17 I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!


Big Idea:  Worship is the response God looks for from His followers.

Respond to God by worshiping Him.  Take us deeper in worship!


Passionate Welcome,  Worship, Word, Witness, Way of Life  

We are a neighborhood, intergenerational church worshipping God together!   This response to God is what brings amazing unity.


1. Worship flows from a heart surrendered to His greatness.


Psalm 66:1-3, Psalm 147:5


Ps. 48:1 Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in the city of our God!


“If you wish to deepen the worship of the people of God, above all deepen their grasp of his ineffable majesty and in all his works.”  D.A. Carson Worship by the Book


Psalm 48:10 As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.

My response to God’s greatness is worship!


2. Worship flows in recognition God as our Creator.


Psalm 95:6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!


Psalm 66:4 “All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.”


Psalm 139:13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Ps.100:1-3


“We are a singing people because it is how God has created us.  It’s what we do. And when we do, we’re simply joining in with what the rest of creation is doing.”  Keith and Krystin Getty


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.”  (Psalm 98:4-9 an example of creation praising God)


“Your voice may not be of professional standard, but it is of confessional standard.  Our singing is not like prayer—it is prayer.” Keith & Krystyn Getty


Westminister Shorter Catechism- “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  


My response to my Creator is worship!


3. Worship is the response God has commanded.


I Chronicles 16:28 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! 29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.


Psalm 66:5 Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. (Psalm 145:3 &6 Intergenerational)


Psalm 66:16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.  John 8:31-32


“Worship comes as a response to revelation. Praise is prompted by-compelled by-the revelation of something glorious.“


Matthew 4:10  “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 22:37


“But God sent His only begotten Son. He was born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, and rose the third day from the dead. And He sits at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens in order that He might restore us again to worship.  It restores us not only in our relationship to God but also our purpose for living.” Tozer

Romans 5:8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Revelation 5:9


Biblically oriented worship is orientated to the end.  Even the Lord’s supper is until he comes and thus an expectation of that coming, a renewal of vows in light of that coming.  D.A. Carson


Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  


We worship passionately when we know/believe in what we have received.

Our aim is to praise God who saves us by grace!  Timothy Keller


My response to all God has done for me is Worship!


Spiritual Growth Questions for September 16th


Icebreaker:   How has singing played a role in your spiritual development?  Can you recall an example of a memorable occasion where you enjoyed singing in church?  What about that event made an impact on you?


  1. Read Psalm 66.  Summarize in your own words what you hear the psalmist saying.  Write down one verse that is speaking to you and why you chose it.

  2. Read Psalm 66:1-4.  What reasons does God give us to praise Him?  Draw some applications from the psalmist to your own life.  What are your reasons for praising God? How are they similar or different?

  3. Read Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19-20.  What do the verses teach us about the content of what we should be singing to God?  What is the link between thankfulness and singing? What are some things that might help you cultivate singing with intentional thankfulness?

  4. Read Psalm 40:2-3.  What revelation is the psalmist seeing?  What is his response? Think of similar revelation that Jesus has done for you?  Describe it and what is your response?

  5. Read Exodus 15:1-7.  What revelation is Moses seeing?  What is his response? Think of a similar revelation that Jesus has done for you?  What song would you consider to be your personal testimony song?

  6. Read Acts 16:25, Romans 8:38-39.  What revelation do you think Paul is singing about?  How can his example help you in difficult situations?  

  7. Share a song that has connected with you in such a way that you believe it may become a milestone hymn for the future?


Memory verses:  Psalm 66:4 All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah

Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.


John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Foundations

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

Best Foundation for Living   Matthew 7:21-29

September 9, 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 7:21-29

 

What Jesus says is this: “Try all the ways of life you may, and in the end you will find that nothing comes out as solid reality but this way of mine. Everything else is sand; this way is rock.”  E. Stanley Jones

 

Big Idea:  Hearing God’s Word must result in obeying God’s Word.  Hearing results in heeding!

 

I.              Our profession of faith must be more than words.

 

Matthew 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. 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?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

 

Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

 

I John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,  (I Corinthians 12:3)

 

A.    Do not be content with intellectual assent.

 

Matthew 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

 

James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

 

What is Christ referring to? Is this salvation by works? No. In the context of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is referring to the Beatitudes and the deep ethical, spiritual obedience found in God’s kingdom. “The will of my Father” refers to God’s will as Jesus has revealed it in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is referring to a profound heart obedience that is not only on the surface but permeates our inner being. “The will of my Father” indicates the character and the conduct of the kingdom of God.  Kent Hughes

 

B.    Beware of false assurances.  

 

Matthew 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.

 

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.  I John 2:4, I Samuel 15:19-22

 

Beware of the trap of just accepting Scripture for what it

says doctrinally and not what it says we should practice.

 

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?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

 

These are the most solemn words ever uttered in this world, not only by any man, but even by the Son of God Himself.  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

 

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,

 

The one thing that matters is our relationship to Jesus!

II.              Our hearing must result in doing.

 

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.” James 1:22

 

For Jesus is not contrasting professing Christians with non-Christians who make no profession. On the contrary, what is common to both spiritual housebuilders is that they hear these words of mine. So both are members of the visible Christian community. Both read the Bible, go to church, listen to sermons and buy Christian literature. The reason you often cannot tell the difference between them is that the deep foundations of their lives are hidden from view.  John Stott

 

A.    Build your life on Jesus Christ, the solid Rock.

 

Luke 6:48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

 

B.    Everyone’s profession of faith will be tested before God.

 

Matthew 7:26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 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.”

 

“This whole concluding section of the discourse thus leaves us with the uncomfortable demand to consider not just what we profess but whether it is based on a genuine relationship with Jesus and issues in the life of a true disciple.”  D.A. Carson and R.T. France

 

2 Timothy 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”  Luke 8:21, Psalm 112:7

 

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

 

There are no regrets when you build on the Rock!

Make the choice of a lifetime and build your life on Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Growth Questions for September 9th

 

Icebreaker:    Describe a time you experienced something you thought was really solid/deep foundation but ended up not being what it appeared to be. 

 

1.   Read Matthew 7:21-29.  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 7:21-23. Jesus comes now to his conclusion. What positive features can you identify in those whom Jesus calls evildoers? What is the crucial thing they lack?

 

3.   Read Matthew 7:24-27, I John 1:6, 2:4.  Ultimately, there are only two possible responses to this Sermon. What are they?  What response was the apostle John urging from his congregation?  

 

4.   Can you think of ways in which you have heard the words of Jesus without putting them into practice? What are the dangers of doing this? ‘The Bible is a dangerous book to read … the church is a dangerous society to join.’ Why?

 

5.   Read I Peter 2:1-11.  What ideas can we get from this passage on how to build a strong spiritual house for God.  List as many as you can from this passage. 

 

6.   Read Matthew 7:28-29.  Why is Jesus’ teaching so different than that of other religious figures?  What was the response of those who heard this sermon? 

 

7.   ‘Only when the Christian community lives by Christ’s manifesto will the world be attracted and God be glorified.’ What steps do you need to take in order to align your life more closely with Jesus’ teaching in this Sermon? Pray for one another as you put these into practice.

 

Verses for Reflection: 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. 

Luke 6: 46“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Spiritual Discernment

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

Spiritual Discernment   Matthew 7:13-20

September 2, 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 7:13-20

Big Idea:  Choose and continue on the narrow path which leads to life and fruitfulness.

I.               There are two gates available to everyone.

Matthew 7:13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

A.   The way to destruction is wide.

Matthew 7:13b For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding gains favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard. (NKJV)

B.   Man and his ideas are the gatekeeper.

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.  Psalm 1:1

“The broad way is spacious, roomy with no effort required to practice.  One just needs to follow the falleness of our own hearts.” D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Genesis 3:5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 2 Cor. 11:3

“When we are motivated to please people, we will find that it might not please God at all.”  Michael Wilkins

II.              The narrow way to eternal life is through Jesus Christ.

Matthew 7:13a “Enter by the narrow gate. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  Acts 4:12

I Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

A.    Jesus is the gatekeeper.

John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  Matthew 16:24, 5:11,

Revelation 7:9 9After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes.  Ephesians 2:8-9

B.    The narrow way leads to eternal life both now and forever.

Matthew 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Matt.11:30

On the narrow road, you lose nothing but gain everything!                The narrow road is hard at first but leads to everlasting life.

III.             Discernment is key to staying on the narrow road.

Mt.7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits.

A.    Look at doctrinal fruit.

1.   There will be a false emphasis on one attribute of God.

2.   There will be an avoidance of the final judgment of God. Heb.9:27, 2 Peter, Jude, I John are not books that are favorable to them.

3.   There will be a failure to emphasize the depravity of mankind. Rom.3:23, Ephesians 2:1

4.   There will be a deemphasizing of the substitutionary death and atonement of Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 9:22

5.   There is no emphasis on repentance.  Jeremiah 23:16

“There is only one person God has treated worse than he deserved.” John Piper

B.   Look at the fruit of character and conduct.

Matthew 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (Titus 1:16)

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. Psalm 32:5

John 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”  Acts14:22

Lord, keep and lead me on your path that leads to eternal life.

Give me discernment when I stray from your path.

It’s never too late to join, receive or return to Jesus.                       

Jesus = eternal life!

 

Spiritual Growth questions for September 2nd

Icebreaker:   Describe a time when you disciplined yourself by practice and it paid off for you in providing freedom and new opportunities.   

1.   Read Matthew 7:13-20.  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 7:13-14.  What is Jesus saying?  Why is that true discipleship will always be a minority position in this world? 

3.   Discuss this quote:  “God’s revealed truth will impose a limitation on what we believe.  God’s revealed goodness will place a limitation on how we behave.”  What limitations are placed on the follower of Christ?

4.   Read John 14:6, Acts 4:12, John 10:9.  What exclusivity does Jesus place on what we believe? Why is the belief in “universalism” (everyone is going to heaven) not a biblical concept?  Why is this so critical for a follower of Christ to understand and embrace?  

5.   Read Matthew 7:15-20, Jeremiah 23:16-17.  Discuss the doctrinal tests and character test that is applied to prophets/teachers of the Word. What were the prophets of Jeremiah’s time teaching?  Discuss any modern correlation to what Jeremiah is saying?   

6.   Read I John 4:1-3.  What test does the apostle John give to discern between truth and error?  What examples have you experienced in our modern times of this error? 

“If we believe that everyone is going to be okay in the end, and if we embrace universalism however it is cloaked, then we’re free to live our lives however we want, to sit back as easygoing Christians in comfortable churches, because in the end all these masses are going to be okay.”  David Platt

7.   Ask the Lord to show you what road you are on.  Spend time in prayer for yourself and others who need to be on the road with Jesus.

Verses for Reflection:

Matthew 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Acts 14:22 Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Ask, Seek, Knock

 

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

Relationships that Encourage Matthew 7:1-6 Part One

August 19, 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 7:1-6

Big Idea:  Relationships that encourage are built with great humility, discernment, love and truth.  Build encouraging relationships.

To build relationships that encourage:

I.               Let authentic __________________ be my guide.

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Three types of judgment:  1. Final judgment of our relationship before God.

2. Self-examination of our relationship with God.  3.  Judgment of our rewards/works as believers.

Judge-krino is used 114 times in the NT.  It ranges from ordinary judgment.  Luke 7:43.  It can also mean judicial litigation,  Mt.5:40, a bestowal of reward, Matthew 19:28,   a pronouncement of guilt, John 7:51, or an absolute determination of a person’s fate, Matthew 5:22.

Jesus makes an announcement and then gives reason for it.  A disposition to look unfavorably upon others especially character and actions.

A.    Beware of ________________ inappropriately.

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. Romans 2:1

“Two extremes Tolstoy who believed that we should have no human courts at all.  This has do with individual judgment.  Our culture on the other side feels that we should suspend our evaluative faculties and have no discernment at all.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. (Luke 16:15, Romans 14:4 &10, I Corinthians 4:3-4)

I should not judge:

1.     People’s motives because I cannot know why they do what they do. I can’t see into their minds.

2.     How people serve in ministry – to his own Master he stands or falls.

3.     Conscientious scruples about things that are morally neutral.

4.     Outward appearances – what is in the heart is what counts.

5.     Harshly or critically – “a habitual fault-finder is a poor advertisement for the Christian faith.” George MacDonald

B.  Remember that I will _________ relationally what I _______ relationally.

Matthew 7:2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Galatians 6:7

Unkind treatment of others will be returned to you.  People tend to treat us the way that we treat them.  Break the pattern of this.  This may be why many are not experiencing the type of relationships that they desire. Kent Hughes

How I think about others matters to God.                                                     Help me to break harsh judgmental patterns in my soul! 

I.               __________ and ________________ my internal motives.

Hebrews 4:12 For 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 have a tendency to exaggerate the faults of others and minimize the gravity of our own.  John Stott

      A.         Regularly ________________ my heart and testimony.

Matthew 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  2 Corinthians13:5, Psalm139:23-24.

Shallow examination versus perpetual autopsy.

“When a man examines himself first he never judges anyone in the wrong way.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

I Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

B.     Build encouraging relationships with __________ and ___________.

Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. I Cor.13:6

To sum up, the command to judge not is not a requirement to be blind, but rather a plea to be generous. Jesus does not tell us to cease to be men (by suspending our critical powers which help to distinguish us from animals) but to renounce the presumptuous ambition to be God (by setting ourselves up as judges). Stott, John.  (Ephesians 4:15, Galatians 6:1-2)

How I confront faults matters to God.

III.            Ask God for ______________ when discernment is appropriate.

Matthew 7:6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:15, 20, Galatians 1:8, James 1:5, Matthew 4:4)

John 8:11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

“Lord when I am wrong, make me easy to change; When I am right make me easy to live with.”  Peter Marshall

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.

God give me wisdom to build encouraging relationships!

 

Growth Group questions for August 19th

  

Icebreaker:  Describe a time you experienced harsh judgment.  What was your response?  How did it help or hurt you? 

 

1.     Read Matthew 7:1-6.  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.     Is it sinful for Christians to judge one another?  Why or why not? What is the difference between hypercritical condemning and discernment?  What is right or wrong with each one?
 

3.     Read Matthew 7:2, Galatians 6:7.  Describe the quality of relationships a judgmental person will reap.  How does this hinder the gospel? 
 

4.     Read Matthew 7:3-5, 2 Cor. 13:5, Psalm 139:23-24.  How does examining ourselves help us to not become hypercritical in our relationships?  What does Jesus tell us to do?  What does he tell us not to do? 
 

5.     Read Matthew 7:6, 15,20.  What qualities are needed to fulfill these verses?   Describe what Jesus is telling us to do and not to do?  Why is this so important? 
 

6.     Read Galatians 6:1-2, Matthew 18:15-16.  What is the process for confronting a wayward believer?  What is the goal?  How did the Pharisees and Scribes deal with wayward believers?  Luke 18:11
 

7.     Read I Peter 2:24-25, I Timothy 1:15-16, Romans 2:4  How can these verses help us in taking the log out of our own eyes?  Why is the kindness of God a key tool in bringing people to repentance?

Memory Verse: Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

 

 

John Lloyd - The Sermon On The Mount - Relationships that Encourage

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

Relationships that Encourage Matthew 7:1-6 Part One

August 19, 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 7:1-6

 

Big Idea:  Relationships that encourage are built with great humility, discernment, love and truth.  Build encouraging relationships.

 

To build relationships that encourage:

I.               Let authentic humility be my guide.

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

 

Three types of judgment:  1. Final judgment of our relationship before God.

2. Self-examination of our relationship with God.  3.  Judgment of our rewards/works as believers.

Judge-krino is used 114 times in the NT.  It ranges from ordinary judgment.  Luke 7:43.  It can also mean judicial litigation,  Mt.5:40, a bestowal of reward, Matthew 19:28,   a pronouncement of guilt, John 7:51, or an absolute determination of a person’s fate, Matthew 5:22.

Jesus makes an announcement and then gives reason for it.  A disposition to look unfavorably upon others especially character and actions.

A.   Beware of judging inappropriately.

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. Romans 2:1

“Two extremes Tolstoy who believed that we should have no human courts at all.  This has do with individual judgment.  Our culture on the other side feels that we should suspend our evaluative faculties and have no discernment at all.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. (Luke 16:15, Romans 14:4 &10, I Corinthians 4:3-4)

I should not judge:

1.   People’s motives because I cannot know why they do what they do, I can’t see into their minds.

2.   How people serve in ministry – to his own Master he stands or falls.

3.   Conscientious scruples about things that are morally neutral.

4.   Outward appearances – what is in the heart is what counts.

5.   Harshly or critically – “a habitual fault-finder is a poor advertisement for the Christian faith.” George MacDonald

B.  Remember that I will reap relationally what I sow relationally.

Matthew 7:2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Galatians 6:7

Unkind treatment of others will be returned to you.  People tend to treat us the way that we treat them.  Break the pattern of this.  This may be why many are not experiencing the type of relationships that they desire. Kent Hughes

How I think about others matters to God.   

Help me to break harsh judgmental patterns in my soul! 

II.             Pray and discern my internal motives.

Hebrews 4:12 For 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 have a tendency to exaggerate the faults of others and minimize the gravity of our own.  John Stott

A.    Regularly examine my heart and testimony.

Matthew 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  2 Corinthians13:5, Psalm139:23-24.

Shallow examination versus perpetual autopsy.

“When a man examines himself first he never judges anyone in the wrong way.”  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

 

I Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

 

B.   Build encouraging relationships with love and truth.

 

Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. I Cor.13:6

 

To sum up, the command to judge not is not a requirement to be blind, but rather a plea to be generous. Jesus does not tell us to cease to be men (by suspending our critical powers which help to distinguish us from animals) but to renounce the presumptuous ambition to be God (by setting ourselves up as judges). Stott, John.  (Ephesians 4:15, Galatians 6:1-2)

 

How I confront faults matters to God.

 

III.            Ask God for wisdom when discernment is appropriate.

Matthew 7:6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:15, 20, Galatians 1:8, James 1:5, Matthew 4:4)

John 8:11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

“Lord when I am wrong, make me easy to change; When I am right make me easy to live with.”  Peter Marshall

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.

God give me wisdom to build encouraging relationships!

 

Growth Group questions for August 19th

 

Icebreaker:  Describe a time you experienced harsh judgment.  What was your response?  How did it help or hurt you? 

 

1.   Read Matthew 7:1-6.  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.   Is it sinful for Christians to judge one another?  Why or why not? What is the difference between hypercritical condemning and discernment?  What is right or wrong with each one?

3.   Read Matthew 7:2, Galatians 6:7.  Describe the quality of relationships a judgmental person will reap.  How does this hinder the gospel? 

4.   Read Matthew 7:3-5, 2 Cor. 13:5, Psalm 139:23-24.  How does examining ourselves help us to not become hypercritical in our relationships?  What does Jesus tell us to do?  What does he tell us not to do? 

5.   Read Matthew 7:6, 15,20.  What qualities are needed to fulfill these verses?   Describe what Jesus is telling us to do and not to do?  Why is this so important? 

6.   Read Galatians 6:1-2, Matthew 18:15-16.  What is the process for confronting a wayward believer?  What is the goal?  How did the Pharisees and Scribes deal with wayward believers?  Luke 18:11

7.   Read I Peter 2:24-25, I Timothy 1:15-16, Romans 2:4  How can these verses help us in taking the log out of our own eyes?  Why is the kindness of God a key tool in bringing people to repentance?

 

Memory Verse: Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

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 - 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 - 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 - 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!