Many of us know that “Beatitudes” as a series of statements made by Jesus in the Sermon on The Mount. But what does the word Beatitude mean? It means Blessedness or Bliss. On the Sermon on The Mount Jesus pronounces blessedness on the qualities that mark the Christian life in this new Earth shakingly radical Kingdom of God. Some of these qualities are outrageously far from those the world values or counts blessed.
Today, there is a dazzling array of opinions of what the Kingdom of God is. Some of these views are expressed in a video made by the Church of England, which isn’t necessarily endorsing them, but recording people’s varied opinions. In all likelihood, some of these views you might find sound and biblical while others you might think fanciful. Regardless, they are the views of Christians that we may well come into contact with. Let us watch this short video and then discuss it together.
What is the Kingdom of God for you personally and where does the King of that Kingdom fit in?
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Q 1- How does the idea of the “poor in spirit” being blessed contradict our usual idea of blessedness?
Watch together this video about this verse to help you discuss it.
Q 2- In what ways might recognising our spiritual poverty before God bring us closer to a loving God in our day-to-day lives?
Sometimes we remain sharply aware of our own failings and dependence on the Lord. In what areas do you really acknowledge your need of God?
If you have time to do this in the group – why not? Otherwise perhaps if you have time this week, why not carry on studying God’s word around this subject.
17 You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so that you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so that you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so that you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
This is part of the letter that God tells John to write to the “lukewarm” church of Laodicea. This was evidently a well off church that was under the impression that it was doing rather well.
Q 1- How do you think God’s assessment of the Laodiceans made them feel? (Revelation 3:17)
Q 2- What does Jesus “counsel” the Laodiceans to do? (Revelation 3:18-19)
Q 3- How does the picture of Jesus waiting at your door make you feel? (Revelation 3:20)
Q 4- If the we, along with the Laodiceans, truly accept Jesus’ offer and humbly acknowledge our need for Him – if we open the door and let Him in – what does He promise to give us? (Revelation 3:21-22)
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