No matter where we were born or which passport we hold, as followers of Jesus we belong to His Kingdom. If we join a sports team, club or community group there are expectations of how we should behave and treat others in that community. Jesus sets out a culture in the Sermon on the Mount. His Beatitudes outline principles and privileges we have as His disciples; they show us what it means to belong to His community, the Kingdom of God.
Engage with God’s Word
Read Matthew 5.
- What does it mean to belong to the Kingdom of God?
- Which of the Beatitudes catches your attention? Are some more challenging than others? Why?
- Which culture are you taking your cues from?
- What does it look like when people express the values Jesus talks about?
- Do we demonstrate the values of the Kingdom?
We can go about our daily lives, perhaps focused on work or school, and get carried away with what we have to do. Before we know it our attention has shifted away from Jesus and how He wants us to grow. How can you keep Jesus ‘front and centre’ throughout your day and week? The Beatitudes refocus our attention on Kingdom values. Consider memorising them or writing them out and sticking them around your home. What is God asking you to do?
Jesus calls us all to be the salt and light in a world that has many dark and tasteless places. Every day we have many opportunities to represent Jesus as we go about our daily routines. However there is also a risk that we can miss the moments that the Holy Spirit gives us if we are not aware of them. The challenge for us all is to be alert to the opportunities that arise, and then to be obedient in that moment to the prompt of the Holy Spirit; where we can potentially be a bright spot in another person’s dark day.
Engage with God’s Word
Read Matthew 5:13-16.
- Jesus calls us to be salt and light. What does this mean to you? How can we do this is a positive way?
- Why is the idea of being salt and light a challenge to us?
- Read Acts 10:37-38. We too have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us. Share a time that you have responded to a prompt from the Holy Spirit to encourage someone who doesn’t know Jesus. What was the outcome?
- Sometimes our obedience to the nudge from the Holy Spirit is the win; even more than the potential outcome. Have you ever had an experience of this?
- On average it takes 8-14 encounters with Christians for someone to take the next step towards accepting Jesus. Discuss.
- One in four Australians would come to church if asked. Have you ever invited someone to church or on a step of the Christian journey? What was the outcome?
We are all called to be salt and light, and to carry the representation of Jesus into the world in which we live. Take a moment now to plan a way that you can take one step this week to be just that. Who are the people that are in your world that need to know Jesus? What is one next step that you can take in showing them Jesus? Maybe invite them to church or to do Alpha with you? Maybe it is just an act of kindness to show them the love of God. Take one new step this week and share with the group next time you meet.