Read Matthew 5:1-12Jesus described some of the characteristics that all citizens of his kingdom should possess and the blessings that he promises will accompany members of his kingdom.
Make two lists (written or verbal): What are the characteristics of citizens of God’s Kingdom (example: “poor in spirit”)? What are the blessings for those citizens (example: “theirs is the kingdom”)?
Make two more lists (written or verbal): What kinds of people does the non-Christian society and kingdoms of this world consider “blessed”? What kinds of temporary worldly blessings do people pursue?
What worldly characteristic or world blessing are you personally tempted to seek?
How does someone become a citizen of God’s Kingdom? (If you don’t know the answer, read John 14:6 & Romans 10:9-13.)
Commenting on verse 5, in the sermon we considered the following curious truth: “God has blessed me, even though I deserved the opposite.” Do you consider God’s blessings for you as curious, unmerited, undeserved grace? Or do you often consider a blessing as an entitled and merited reward for your hard work or important status?
Verse 6 - A hunger for righteousness in this verse is a desire for justice both socially and personally. How do you hunger for God’s justice in society (example: adoption of orphans)? How do you hunger for God’s righteousness in your personal life—in other words, in what ways do you specifically long for God to help you live righteously?
Verse 7 - Are you a merciful person or a harsh, judgmental, and legalistic person?
Verse 10 - How could you feel blessed (honored, happy) when you are persecuted? Have you been persecuted? Have you compromised your faith or witness to avoid persecution? (There is mercy for you! Later read how Jesus forgave Peter in John 18 & 21.)