Beatitudes

Week One Questions (“Blessed are the poor in spirit…“)

  • What are some thoughts, insights, or questions that come to your mind from this morning’s message on the first beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven?
  • How does the first beatitude go against the grain of common sense?
  • What is the opposite of being “poor in spirit?” What might that kind of person need to learn from this first beatitude?
  • Why do you think this beatitude is listed first? Do you think there may be any significance to that?
  • What would ministry in a local church setting look like when it is seen through the lens of the first beatitude?
  • When considering the first beatitude, what might be God’s specific challenge to you on a personal level?

Week Two Questions (“Blessed are those who mourn…“)

  • What are some thoughts, insights, or questions that come to your mind from this morning’s message on the second beatitude: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”?
  • People who never grieve, sorrow, or suffer have little capacity for experiencing the full richness of the goodness and grace of God.” Do you agree with this statement? How has grief, sorrow, or suffering deepened your own experience of God?
  • “Compassion” literally means shared suffering. When have you been the recipient of someone else’s compassion? How did it lighten your load?
  • What implications of Jesus’ death on the cross (and his call upon us to take up our own cross) are there for followers of Jesus when it comes to our relationship with suffering and pain?
  • What does it mean to “lament”? When might it be appropriate to offer a lament unto God?
  • What would ministry in a local church setting look like when it is seen through the lens of the second beatitude?
  • When considering the second beatitude, what might be God’s specific challenge to you on a personal level?

Week Three Questions (“Blessed are the Meek…“)

  • What are some thoughts, insights, or questions that come to your mind from this morning’s message on the third beatitude: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth?
  • How does the third beatitude go against the grain of common sense? In what ways do you sense this beatitude clashing with the normal way of the world and culture?
  • How do you see meekness playing out in the life of Jesus as well as the larger story of scripture?
  • In regards to the larger Body of Christ across our society, do you see meekness as a defining trait? Explain.
  • What would ministry in a local church setting look like when it is seen through the lens of the third beatitude?
  • When considering the third beatitude, what might be God’s specific challenge to you on a personal level?

Week Four Questions (“Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness…“)

  • What are some thoughts, insights, or questions that come to your mind from this morning’s message on the fourth beatitude: Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness…?
  • As Christians, we believe in Jesus’ imminent return, and following his return, his kingdom will be established in completeness. But already his kingdom is advancing in the world. Describe how this should impact the way Christians approach the brokenness of the world today.
  • What are 1 or 2 burdens God has placed in your own heart as it relates to the brokenness of the world? In other words, is there a particular aspect of the world’s brokenness that resonates with your heart the most?
  • What would ministry in a local church setting look like when it is seen through the lens of the fourth beatitude?

10/20/19 (Richard & Daphne Gaspard) Questions

  • What are some thoughts, insights, or questions that come to your mind from this morning’s message by Richard & Daphne Gaspard?
  • How does the Gaspard’s story connect with the Beatitudes?
  • How have you suffered grief or some form of loss? Describe some of the issues you wrestled with in the midst of the experience.
  • What is your main takeaway from this morning’s message?

Week Six Questions (“Blessed are the merciful”)

  • What are some thoughts, insights, or questions that come to your mind from this morning’s message on the fifth beatitude: Blessed are the merciful…?
  • In your life, what are places, situations, or people where showing mercy is easy for you? What about places, situations, or people where showing mercy is difficult?
  • Read through both the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) and the unforgiving slave (Matthew 18:23-35). What were the reasons for withholding mercy? What reasons do we give for not showing mercy?
  • God is rich in mercy. He doesn’t just dole out mercy – he is overflowing with mercy for us. It’s easy to believe God’s mercy is a chore and not a pleasure. How does knowing God delights in showing mercy towards us change how we might experience his mercy, ask for his mercy, or show mercy to others?
  • As you think about God’s mercy towards you, where is a specific place, situation, or person in your life where you have an opportunity to be merciful?
  • What would ministry in a local church setting look like when it is seen through the lens of the fifth beatitude?

Week Seven Questions (“Blessed are the pure in heart”)

  • What are some thoughts, insights, or questions that come to your mind from this morning’s message on the sixth beatitude: Blessed are the pure in heart…?
  • The Pharisees, in general, had a difficult time seeing God at work in Jesus’ life and ministry. What specifically prevented them from seeing God in Jesus?
  • In what ways have you observed some of the same reaction(s) to the work of God in today’s religious culture?
  • Why is honesty and transparency at the foundation of our relationship with God? How is this also true of marriage?
  • What would ministry in a local church setting look like when it is seen through the lens of the sixth beatitude?

Week Eight Questions (“Blessed are the peacemakers”)

  • What are some thoughts, insights, or questions that come to your mind from this morning’s message on the seventh beatitude: Blessed are the peacemakers…?
  • When you realize that you have a conflict with someone, what is your natural reaction? Do you run toward the conflict to resolve it, or run away from it? (There are no right/wrong answers here). Where do you think that tendency comes from?
  • Who do you think of when you think of a “peacemaker” Does anyone immediately come to mind?
  • How can peacemaking be costly? Have you ever had an experience where pursuing harmony in relationships cost you something?
  • What would peacemaking look like in our society that is so divisive and hostile?
  • What would ministry in a local church setting look like when it is seen through the lens of the seventh beatitude?

Week Nine Questions (“Blessed are the persecuted”)

  • What are some thoughts, insights, or questions that come to your mind from this morning’s message on the final beatitude: Blessed are the persecuted…?
  • Describe the different forms persecution can take. What incidents of persecution can you identify in the Bible? Who were the responsible parties behind the persecution?
  • What is it about following the Jesus way that elicits persecution?
  • Where (if at all) do you see or hear about actual persecution taking place?
  • Looking back on the 8 Beatitudes, which of them most resonates with you or challenges you the most right now (the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake)?

Week Ten Questions (11-24-19)

  • Does the world we live in encourage comparing our lives to others? Discuss areas of life in which this occurs.
  • How does constantly comparing our lives to others make us feel?
  • What is the key to victory in this area and why do we need this victory?
  • How did Joseph respond to his situation to give him victory (Genesis 37-50)?
  • What answer did Jesus give his disciples in Luke 9:46-48 when they compared themselves to each other?

Week Eleven Questions (“Subversive Christmas”)

  • What stood out to you from the message and the supporting texts?
  • Discuss the historical context of the birth of Jesus. What would the result of being subversive in that culture be?
  • Discuss the context of the culture that you live in. What would the result of being subversive in this culture be?
  • In what ways could you be subversive in your everyday life? In what ways could you spread love, hope, and peace where the world says that you should be angry, depressed, or violent?
  • In what other ways can you be subversive this Christmas in non-monetary ways?