What is one way you have experienced God at work in your life this week?
Father, by Your Spirit, would you guide us into all truth. Help us to hear and be attentive to Your voice as we work through this study. In the name of Jesus, Your Son, we pray, Amen.
• What stood out to you in the sermon?
• What insights did you gain?
• What questions did it raise?
Read Matthew 6:1-8, and 16-18
• What stands out in these verses?
• What is most challenging to you about these verses?
• NT Wright observes that “the sermon on the Mount is centered on God himself, who easily gets squeezed out of religion if we are not careful.” Have you experienced the acts of religion [giving to the poor, prayer, fasting] squeezing out God?
• On the flip side, how have you grown in intimacy with God through the tools of religious practices?
• Re-read 6.1 – what is the reward from the Father in heaven that is given to those following Jesus?
Does Saul’s conversion (1 Sam 10.9-11) give an idea of the Father’s reward: a new heart, the Spirit empowered life, gifts of the Spirit?
• Dietrich Bonhoeffer (d.1945) in his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount (Cost of Discipleship) says, “the disciples possess the (reward) only so long as they are reflective (of the light of Christ) …From who do they hide the visibility of their good deeds? Not from others, for we are told to let them see our light. We are to hide it from ourselves . . . we must be unaware of our own righteousness, and see it only in so far as we look unto Jesus.” How does Bonhoeffer’s thought challenge you?