SotM: Living Right-Side Up in an Upside-Down World
The Great Divide
Matt 7:13-29 We come to the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount this week, where Jesus essentially asks us what we’re going to do with it. It’s not enough just to read it and hear it. Jesus desires us to live it. So what will you do with it now?
Becoming Golden Rulers
Matthew 7:1-12 We return to the Sermon on the Mount this week and encounter one of the most breath-taking and brilliant statements that has ever been said, what has come to be called “The Golden Rule.” Everything comes together in this one brilliant statement. But, notice that it begins with “therefore.” That means the things that come before it feed into it. What comes before it? Do not judge others, help others and pray for others. Jesus invites his disciples to become “Golden Rulers” by doing these things.
Hope for Anxiety
Matt 6:19-34 This week, in our continuation of Jesus’ famous words in Matthew 6, Jesus gives us some hope for the day-to-day anxiety that we all deal with. He essentially invites us to do three things: look, examine and seek. Look at the birds of the air, examine the flowers of the field and seek his purposes for the world with our whole heart. When we do these things, we will find that our good Father is good and wants to care for us. Ultimately, we learn to take the focus off of ourselves and trust him for our daily bread.
Some Causes of Anxiety
Matt 6:19-34 In our text for the next two weeks, Jesus seems to touch on many different themes, including treasures, visions, masters and anxiety. However, the single theme throughout this passage is anxiety. In other words, our anxiety, the day-to-day anxiety that we all deal with, is rooted in the choices we make about treasures, visions and masters. Come this Sunday as we explore this well-known passage.
Our Forgiveness and Our Deliverance
Matt 6:12-15 This week is the last week in our journey through the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that has been called a compendium of the Gospel, most likely because of petitions 5 and 6. Those are the two petitions we will explore this Sunday as we continue to ask the Lord to teach us to pray.
Your Will and Our Bread
Matt 6:9-13 We enter back into the Lord’s Prayer this Sunday. The disciples are recorded to have asked Jesus to teach them only one thing – to pray. Jesus then teaches them the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11). In our journey through the prayer, we are asking Jesus the same thing: Lord teach us to pray. This Sunday we explore petitions 3 and 4: your will be done and give us this day our daily bread.
Your Name and Your Kingdom
Matt 6:9-10 We are journeying through the Lord’s Prayer together, and this week we explore the first two petitions: “hallowed be your name” and “your kingdom come.” Over against babbling like pagans, Jesus teaches us to “pray like this” (6:9): address our Father in heaven, then pray these two petitions. Apparently he thought it vitally important to hallow the Father’s name and pray for his kingdom to come. But, what are we actually praying in these two petitions? I invite you to come Sunday as we explore this text together.
The Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:7-15 In the Sermon on the Mount, in the middle of Jesus’ instruction on the Spiritual Disciplines, he gives extra teaching on prayer. He says that we are not to mindlessly babble in prayer, instead we are to pray simply and shortly, the model being the Lord’s Prayer.
Matt 6:1-6, 16-18 After our summer in the Parables, we now enter back into the Sermon on the Mount, Living Right-side Up in an Upside-down World. In our text for this week, Jesus protects the spiritual disciplines. Why? Because the spiritual disciplines nurture our relationship to God and nurture life in his kingdom. Jesus assumes we will do them, but his focus is on our motivation. Are we motivated to do them to be seen by people (others or ourselves), or are we motivated to do them “authentically” to be seen by God?
Matt 5:43-48 Love my enemy? Give food to my enemy when he is hungry? Give drink when he is thirsty? Are you crazy, Jesus? But I want to throw the food and drink in his face… Nothing is impossible with the Spirit of the Living God.
No Longer An Echo
Matt 5:38-42 How do we respond when people wrong us? Do we respond in kind? Do we give blow for blow? Are we simply echoes, returning hurt for hurt? This week we come to the fifth fulfiller, and Jesus teaches us that surpassing righteousness happens by overcoming evil with good. In doing so, we model what Jesus himself did in his passion. This is a seemingly impossible saying, but nothing is impossible when the Spirit of the Living God is involved.
Make Your Yes, Yes or No, No
Matt 5:33-37 This week, in the 4th “fulfiller”, Jesus takes on speech. At first it seems a bit anticlimactic. But aren’t right-relationships built upon and sustained by words? It turns out that authentic relationships only happen when we say what we mean and mean what we say. This integrity of speech is what causes our righteousness to surpass that of the religious authorities. Come Sunday to discuss how to make your yes, yes or your no, no.