Small Groups – Week of March 17, 2013
1. Read Matthew 5:1-12. Is there anyone in the group who can say this passage from memory? Try to recite it.
2. Pastor Bill said that persecution will come. When it does we should rejoice. Why might a Christian be persecuted? Why should we rejoice in the midst of persecution? How do the words of Christ in verses 10-12 strike you? Is there any type of persecution that we should not rejoice because of?
3. Pastor Bill shared four reasons why we should rejoice in persecution. Try and recall them and share some of the things Pastor Bill said about them:
[i. It is an indication that we are maturing in Christ [we are known by how we react to things; God uses suffering to shape us; we must change – bitterness is not an option, not forgiving not an option, etc.];
ii. People see Christ in us [we are persecuted because of righteousness; righteousness is being right with God at its most basic level, it is also a longing to be free from the control of sin and the desire to sin – it is to be pure with and like Christ; it is a path that puts us at odds with the world and we feel the loss if we don’t line up with the world; will the Christian participate in the unrighteousness or choose righteousness?];
iii. Because there is reward in heaven [any loss we have is compensated for greatly in heaven; whose reward are we living for? – earth’s or heaven’s? if we live for earth’s it will mean denying Christ; we all will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10); issue of rewards will be at stake for us (1 Corinthians 3:10-15);] iv. Because we don’t belong to the world [we feel the disconnect with the world; we belong to God]]
4. Share a time when you stood up for righteousness and you were persecuted for it in some way. Was it worth it? Why or why not?
5. Spend some time reflecting on the sermon series. What is one thing God shared with you that you need to put into practice? Share this with the group.
6. Spend time in closing by praying for the members of your group and for TAC. Pray that the beatitudes would be evident in our lives.