March 9, 2020
It makes sense to consider the demands of the Sermon on the Mount to be too difficult. But in the midst of this mountain of expectations, Jesus says something surprising...You are. He’s not saying that we’re faultless. He’s not saying we have arrived. But in saying “you are” Jesus has welcomed us in.
March 9, 2020
Session 6. Be Prepared - Matthew 7:13-27
Jesus knew that many of his listeners would embrace his message for a season only to be lulled into a half-hearted commitment later on. But he imagined something better for them – a journey where they could avoid potential pitfalls and adequately prepare for the journey. How might those of us who consider ourselves to be God’s people enjoy security in the promise for days ahead?
February 26, 2020
Session 5: Get Help - Matthew 6:5-15 & 7:7-12
Our life experience has taught us that prayer can seem to be unproductive. We prayed for a good grade on the exam, we prayed for recovery from an illness, we prayed for peace in a tough relationship, and things did not go the way we wanted. So why bother? What did Jesus mean when he said “for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” ?
February 22, 2020
When people cannot see God meeting their needs in the present, they are tempted all the more to abandon the beautiful life. When they’re hungry and do not have food to eat, they steal. When they’re lonely and have no one to connect with, they look for false intimacy. When they are not respected, they look in the wrong places to be esteemed. Do these things matter to God? Does he expect us to grin and bear it? Does God care for our needs now?
February 15, 2020
Can you imagine what it would be like to have such clarity of purpose that nothing in society could keep you from forging ahead? What if God had a very distinct purpose for each one of us – a call to be uncommon and whole, and a call to let God’s outpouring love restore those around us? If that life of purpose could be had, what would it cost?
In perhaps the most challenging part of his sermon, Jesus unpacks what he meant earlier when he said that he came to complete what was started with the Law and the Prophets. He does so with a series of statements beginning with “You have heard that it was said” such and such followed by “But I tell you” something else...