Weekly Discussion Guide



by Pastor Matt Manning on April 21, 2024


Pastor Matt focused on the Beatitudes, and reminded us that these are not a moral list of do’s and don’t’s, but a picture of what God’s people really are like, because the Holy Spirit is moving them toward being more and more like Jesus.

Who do you immediately think of as living a lifestyle like the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-8)? What are some unique qualities of this person you’d like to imitate?

The Beatitudes, otherwise known as the “blessings” in Matthew, highlight the path in life of the repentant Christian and demonstrate what a true Christian looks like in God’s kingdom to come. This is not a moral list, but rather a picture of who God’s people really are. In the Beatitudes, Jesus is presenting an answer to humanity’s question of “How can we find true happiness, flourishing, and meaning in life?”

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:3-8)

What do you think Jesus means by poor in spirit(v. 3)? How is it very different from being despondent or downhearted?

What did Pastor Matt mean when he said that the poor in spirit are aware that they’re spiritually bankrupt before God, and are totally dependent on him to save them?

Jonathan Pennington, author of Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing, describes poor in spirit as “poverty, brokenness, sense of loss, mourning for the broken world.”

How would this trait (poor in spirit) eventually lead to happiness, flourishing, and meaning in life? How is it almost impossible to experience joy without realizing our total dependence upon God?

Why do you think Jesus says the reward for the poor in spirit is the kingdom of heaven? Why would that be meaningful to them?

Jesus next goes on to say, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Assuming He’s not instructing believers to walk around depressed and sad about everything in life, what do you think He actually saying here? What does it mean to fully mourn the significant losses in our lives—perhaps even the ones we caused ourselves (namely, by our sins)?

Christianity.com says this about verse 4: “Rather, the way Jesus uses the word “mourn” is in the way of people mourning over their own sins....When we mourn over our sins, it brings our hearts to repentance.”

How are mourning a sin and being sad over the consequences of sin different from one another? Which one leads to true repentance?

Meekness is possibly the hardest characteristic to mentally wrap our minds around in our power-oriented world.
It runs counter to everything we’ve been taught in life, especially with America’s philosophy of “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps”. We are taught from an early age to fight for what we want, to show assertiveness, and to take the reins in life.

What is the dictionary definition of meek? (Have someone look it up on their phone.)

Pastor Matt defined meekness as ...
“A frame of mind toward God that I am completely dependent on him, and in that dependence, I trust that he is for me, not against me, and that his dealings with humanity are good.”

With that definition of meekness, what trait or traits do you think would be the opposite of meek? For example, pride says, “I can solve this problem on my own – I can save myself.”

Meekness, on the other hand, says what? (Answer: I’m relying on someone greater than myself to address this problem for me and point me in the right direction. I trust that God will work the situation out in His own way.)

How does Jesus demonstrate meekness throughout His ministry on earth? Is meekness the most appropriate response in every situation, why or why not?

Based on the passage and the questions above, what “takeaways” do you think God has revealed to you?

What does God want us to hear? Based on the passage and the questions above, what “takeaways” do you think God has revealed to you?

Pastor Matt said, “God saves me through the true understanding of the one (Jesus) that the Sermon on the Mount shows me.”

How did Jesus perfectly demonstrate each of the beatitudes?
What does it mean for us to be utterly dependent on God in living these out?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is inviting us to learn from Him, repent, and pursue a different track in life than the one the world presents, in order to find true happiness and purpose in life – namely, to flourish.

Which of these beatitudes could use your focused attention this week?

Flowing out of our reading and interpretation, what action does this passage or the Spirit’s leading, call us to?

What does God want us to do? Flowing out of our reading and interpretation, what action does this passage, or the Spirit’s leading, call us to?

Identify areas in your life that deviate from the statements of blessing listed above. Take some time to reflect and repent and ask God to help you change your mindset and habits as you go about your week.

Read through the rest of the Sermon on the Mount. Identify some defining characteristics of people in God’s kingdom.

Take some time to read on world events happening now, and start a prayer journal, praying for Kingdom flourishing to take place in local and world events happening currently.

What does God want ME to do? What is the personal application and action step God is calling you, personally, toward?

Tags: money, jesus, leader, missions, next, sermon on the mount, beatitudes, believe, lust, summer, heart, greed, narrow gate, new series, summer on the mount, crossroads church, crossroadsabc, missionary visit, memduh and suna, uysal

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