Conduit of Blessing
Sermon Series:Sermon on the MountThe Sermon on the Mount has been called Jesus’s “manifesto,” describing the in-breaking Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus begins, not with commands, but with blessings or “congratulations” on the poor and powerless, on those grieving and desperate for justice and righteousness. In His promises, Jesus is inviting them (and us) to LOOK UP and receive the fullness, comfort, and satisfaction of the Kingdom. The “Need Beatitudes” flow into the “Help Beatitudes” and an invitation to LOOK BACK at God’s track record of mercy; to LOOK IN and assess the motivations and affections of our heart; and to LOOK OUT as we step into the brokenness and chaos all around us and become agents of reconciliation and peace. We are called to be a “Conduit of Blessing” as the blessings of His mercy and peace take root in our lives, transform us from the inside out, and then overflow into a life of ministry and mission as we extend His grace and reconciliation in every context.
Questions for Reflections & Discussion What does this passage say about God’s character and nature? What does it mean to be “pure in heart,” to be singularly devoted to Christ? Where have you seen mercy, peacemaking, focused devotion on display? What are each of these countering in the world? What is a tangible way you can be source of mercy and reconciliation this week?
Matthew 5:7-9; Hebrews 4:16; Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 1:3; Titus 3:4; Luke 6:36; Ephesians 4:32; Luke 6:45; Romans 15:13; Romans 5:6,11; Ephesians 2:16,17
Quotes: “We never lay hold of our nothingness before God and, consequently, we never enter into the deepest reality of our relationship with him. But when we accept ownership of our powerlessness and helplessness, when we acknowledge that we are paupers at the door of God’s mercy, then God can make something beautiful out of us.” - Brennan Manning
“What do I mean when I use the word ‘authentic.’ I mean that which is genuine, and sincere, and honest, and thorough. I mean that which is not inferior, and hollow, and formal, and false, and counterfeit, and sham, and nominal. ‘Authentic’ is not mere show, and pretense, and skin-deep feeling, and temporary profession, and works only on the outside. It is something inward, solid, substantial, intrinsic, living, lasting. If you want to know whether your religion is authentic, test it by ‘the place it occupies,’ in the depths of who you are. It is not enough that it is in your head. It is not enough that it is on your lips. It is not enough that it is in your feelings. It must be in your heart. It must hold the reins. It must sway the affections. It must lead the will. It must direct the tastes. It must influence the choices and decisions. It must fill the deepest, inmost place in your soul throughout your journey from grace to glory.” - J. C. Ryle