“#Blessed: Matthew 5:7”

#Blessed: Matthew 5:7
The Good Life isn’t counting my blessings, but counting on the one who blesses.
The Good Life isn’t pain free but pain freed.
The Good Life isn’t achieved but received.
The Good Life isn’t about settling but settling for nothing less.
The Good Life is proactive, not reactive.
The Good Life starts when you get started. 
– Don’t wait on someone else to do what Jesus asks you to do – Don’t fret about the size of the challenge, focus on the power of Christ
– Don’t quit when it gets hard, that when growth happens
What are you waiting for? 
Further Conversation
1. What do you think are some of the needs people have in your community? What could churches do to meet those needs?
2. Read Matthew 5:6 What does it mean to show mercy?
3. The good life starts when you get started. What are some fears in taking the lead in a difficult situation? How can failing be good?
4. Read John 6:1-13 What did the people need? What are some fears the disciples might have in trying to meet those needs?
5. What are some commands Jesus gave to all Jesus-followers throughout history? What holds us back from acting on these? What was the disciple’s initial response to the need of the people?
6. How can we focus on Christ instead of our challenges?
7. What do we miss when we walk away from hard things? What hard things is Jesus asking you to do?
8. The Good Life is proactive, not reactive. What needs do you see around you? What are you waiting for?
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
Monday – Matthew 14:22-33
God parted the Red Sea before anyone stepped in. God parted the Jordan River only after the priests took one step in. For Peter, God just let him walk on top. Whether the waters are parted before, during, or never; we miss the point when we focus on the water. Who God is and what God does must always be our focus! What was Peter looking at when he began to sink? Where do we look when the winds and waves crash?
Pray: Almighty God, may I never turn my eyes from you but trust in you that you alone can do all things
Tuesday – 2 kings 5:1-19
We can sometimes lose sight of what God does and what God asks of us. God is the healer. God is the author, sustainer, and ruler of life. Faith doesn’t heal…God does. Faith puts me in the place to be healed. Naaman wasn’t asked to do anything extraordinary…only take a simple swim. The Israelites weren’t asked to part the Jordan River, only take one step of trust. You and I aren’t asked to change the world,. We’re only asked to obey God and take a step in faith. God does the rest. What is God asking you to do today?
Pray: Heavenly Father, you alone are LORD and God. May I trust in your power as I take my steps.
Wednesday – Isaiah 51:1-2
It is hard to ask for help. It is difficult to lean on others. Why? Pride is the only answer. We think we can do it alone. We fear what others might think if we asked for help, or cried out in need. Yet deliverance only comes from God. Our credit cards nor our rugged ingenuity will save us. The bottle won’t hide us. Look towards God. Look at what God has done. Consider what God could do…if we would cry out and trust.
Pray: Holy Spirit, pride sometimes swallows me whole. Renew my heart and deliver me. I need you.
Thursday – Psalm 114
I love the song by Jim Croce “Bad Bad Leroy Brown.” We watch superhero movies. We marvel at heroic sagas. Psalm 114 is not different. The Psalmist simply stands in awe of what God has done! This psalm reminds us that God was the one who moved the waters and caused mountains to dance. What enemies approach you, what obstacles stand in you way? Do you hope for a superhero, plan to trust in your ability, or will you trust God?
Pray: God of all creation, you alone possess the power and right to pave my path. May I follow!
Friday – John 14:1-7
I’m astonished at what some athletes can do. I recently read of a young man who broke the world record in the standing long jump…almost 12 feet! I’d be lucky to hit 5-6 feet…and that’s me falling flat on my face! Some people are simply more gifted, better disciplined, or more privileged than others. Yet…and this is a huge yet…no one, no matter who incredibly talented, can earn or perform their way into heaven. There is only one way: Jesus! Sin has caused a huge chasm between God and humanity. I can’t jump the Grand Canyon, but neither can anyone else. God built a bridge to us, through the cross of Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Only by trusting fully in Jesus can any of us ever spend eternity with God. In what ways, and in what arenas of life, to you feel tempted to rely upon yourself more than Jesus?
Pray: Jesus, my LORD and Savior, I commit my self fully to you today. You alone are the way!
Saturday – Deuteronomy 9:1-6
Does Moses seem awful harsh and judgmental to you? Isn’t it enough to say God did something. Must Moses also say, “and you don’t deserve it!” Moses loves the people too much to let them think anything else. As soon as we believe we deserve something, we start taking credit. Only in repentance and humility will we ever truly appreciate who God is and what God has done. Where does pride most hold you back?
Pray: Holy God, you alone are perfect, able, and worthy. I am not. Thank you for your undeserved love