Weekly Update 1/23

Announcements:

  • There will be a member meeting after service next Sunday, 1/27. Food and childcare will be provided.

  • This Sunday is the last Sunday to sign-up for Philippians mission trip with Grace Community Empowerment. 

  • Our church is moving to Slack! If you haven’t signed up already, please do so here: https://rainiervalleychurch.slack.com/

Community Group Questions

Kingdom Attitudes (The Beatitudes 5:3-10)

    • Why would the beatitudes have been shocking for their initial audience and how do they should the upside down nature of the Kingdom of God? How can we cultivate a poverty of Spirit, mourning over sin, and meekness towards others?

    • What feeds your hunger and thirst for God and how can you develop that appetite?

    • How is our willingness to be merciful to others directly connected to our understanding of the Gospel? What are situations and relationships in your life when you feel like you don't need to be merciful and why?

    • How does purity of heart help us to connect with God and understand him better? What 2-3 things in your life are getting in the way of your personal purity?

    • How are peacemakers reflecting the character of God? What opportunities exist in your life to be a peacemaker?

    • How can someone is it that someone who is being persecuted for Jesus can also be blessed by Jesus in the midst of their hardship? What persecution have you faced in your life?

Kingdom Identity (Salt & Light 5:11-16)  

    • How are Christians salty in this world? What ways are Christians lights in the darkness?

    • Do you tend to be a private person that hides your faith or a public person that performs spiritual acts in front of people? If you are tempted to hide, you need to let your light shine and if you are tempted to only be public, you need to develop a private spiritual life.

Kingdom Calling (Fulfill the Law - Greater Righteousness! 5:17-20)

    • Jesus came to fulfill the law of God. He internalize the teachings of the Torah to their greatest level. Have you ever performed spiritual acts without a heart that is fully engaged and what was the experience like? What does Jesus care about our motivates and not just our actions? 

Kingdom Righteousness (Tripartite Antithesis Matthew 5:21-48)

    • Read over and think over these teachings. How is Jesus prescribing a deeper righteousness? Which of these teachings do you find to be the most challenging and why? As you reflect on Jesus' teaching, what do you find to be the most perplexing of his instructions? How are you applying these teachings? Which areas do you need to grow in?

Do not murder – Do not be angry – Be reconciled

No adultery – Do not lust – Flee temptation

Divorce legally – Do not divorce - Do not commit Adultery

Don't break oaths – Don't make oaths – Go extra mile

Love neighbor; hate enemy – Don't hate enemy but love/pray

Kingdom Devotion (Secret Piety 6:1-7:27)

    • What are the three spiritual disciplines that Jesus highlights in his teaching on secret piety? Do you have a robust private devotional life or do you find that most all of your spiritual activity happens around other people?

    • What are some of the elements of the Lord's Prayer that Jesus teaches his disciples? What elements of Jesus' prayer do you regularly use in your private prayer life and which elements do you tend not to use?

    • Jesus explains that spiritual disciplines are always done for an audience either God or other people, how have you been tempted to perform for the approval of others? How can we fight against that temptation to put other people's view of us in the center of our lives? Read Matt 6:19-34. What consumes your thoughts, attentions, and time? How do you handle competing desire of personal ambition or pursuit of the things of this world and of seeking after Jesus' righteousness and his Kingdom? How do you handle and respond to conflicting desires? Read Matt 7:1-23. What characteristics such as judgmental attitudes, criticism, and superiority have you seen your own life? How can we cultivate humility, grace, and love for others?

    • As you reflect and mediate on the sermon on the mount, what do you find to be the most helpful, convicting, and/or encouraging aspects of the sermon? What areas do you need to begin apply the truth of the sermon in your own life?  

Have a great week!