Tri-Village Sermon 4.23.17
In his sermon, Jeremy mentioned that in our culture, we tend of think of blessing circumstantially or in terms of our happiness. For instance, we say “have a blessed day”, which means have a smooth day with no problems. We talk about having a “blessed life”, which means to have things easy and comfortable. But what does Jesus mean by “blessed”? (Leaders: Jeremy explained that to be “blessed” means to be the recipient of divine favor and approval. This is not simply emotional happiness – though it results in these things. Another way to explain this is that joy comes to those who have favor and intimacy/relationship with God).
Matthew 5:3 says that those who are “poor in spirit” will be blessed. What does Jesus mean when he says “poor”? (Leaders: Jeremy mentioned that the word “poor” here is defined as “abject poverty”, having nothing, and also having no skill or ability to earn. The person’s survival depends completely on others – just as we depend completely on God.)
How does the holiness of God remind us of our spiritual poverty? (Leaders: Jeremy explored the parable of the tax collector and the pharisee in Luke 18, and explained that every person who is poor in spirit sees that the holiness of God exposes the offense of our sin).
Pastor Jeremy highlighted that Jesus says the kingdom “is” (present tense) possessed by those who are poor in spirit. He explained the nature of the kingdom is both future – at the second coming – and also present. But in what ways do the poor in spirit experience this kingdom now? (Leaders: The poor in spirit experience the kingdom now as recipients of grace. They see their desperate state in contrast to the holiness of God and are blessed by His mercy and forgiveness).
As Jeremy mentioned, the kingdom of God has already been inaugurated and has “invaded” our world and our lives through the work of the Spirit since Jesus’ ascension. Can you share of a time when God’s grace seemed to invade your life in a very apparent and obvious way?
Takeaway: How has His grace contrasted and overcome the “old man” of your sinful nature? Is your mindset reflective of pride or spiritual poverty? This week, depend fully on God, knowing that it is those who are spiritually impoverished who are blessed, both now and in the consummated kingdom.