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Courageous & Blessed

March 5, 2017 Series: #blessed

Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Matthew 5:9, 1 Peter 3:9–3:11, 1 Timothy 2:22, Hebrews 12:14, Matthew 6:12–6:15, Matthew 5:43–5:45, Matthew 5:23–5:24

Courageous & Blessed

Week eight of a ten week series discovering the pathway to God's blessings by learning and living the Beatitudes of Jesus

How are you doing on memorizing the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10)? You probably know them better than you think!

Matthew 5:9 NIV
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Jesus calls us to be peacemakers.

Notice He doesn't say, "Blessed are the peaceful . . ." where you're doing okay on your own but avoiding the messy relational situations around you. And He doesn't say, "Blessed are those who long for peace and put peace symbols on their cars." No. He pronounces God's blessings on those who work for peace in the messiness of life here and now.

1 Peter 3:9-11 NIV
9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,“Whoever would love lifeand see good daysmust keep their tongue from eviland their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good;they must seek peace and pursue it.

2 Timothy 2:22 NIV
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Hebrews 12:14 NIV
14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

What are the alternatives?

1) Being a "peace-faker" - pretending everything's okay.

2) Being a "peace-breaker" - wading into conflict with both guns blazing.

We all tend toward one or the other, depending on our personalities, upbringing, and the situation we find ourselves in. But neither peace-faking or peace-breaking honor the Lord and bring real peace to a messy situation. That's why Jesus calls us to be peacemakers.

How do we do it?

Start with your own heart then . . .

1. Forgive
2. Give
3. Be patient
4. Reconcile

Matthew 6:12-15 NIV
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’ 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 5:43-45 NIV
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

We are never more like our Father in Heaven than when we work for peace in the messiness of life here and now.

Connections Questions

We are never more like our Father in Heaven than when we work for peace in the messiness of life here and now.

1. How are you doing on memorizing the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10)? You probably know them better than you think! Take a few minutes with your group—either all together or in pairs—to say as many as you can from memory.

2. Think of a conflict that’s affecting you right now—between you and someone else or between other people you care about. What’s happening? How have you tried to address it so far?

3. By personality and upbringing, do you tend to be a peace-faker, peace-breaker, or peace-maker when it comes to your own or others’ conflict? Give an example. How does Jesus’ call for you to be a peacemaker challenge your typical approach to handling conflicts?

4. Pastor Ken said that Jesus explains and illustrates the Beatitudes in the rest of His sermon (Matthew 5-7). Read the Scriptures below and note how Jesus sheds light on what it means to be a peacemaker. Which passage especially strikes you?

· Matthew 5:23-26

· Matthew 5:43-46

· Matthew 6:12-15

· Matthew 7:1-5

5. Think again about the conflict that’s affecting you right now. What could you say or do this week to pursue peace in this situation? How can others in your group pray for you about this?

#blessed resources
You can download the Beatitudes for your phone, your tablet, and your computer at our series resource page on the Hopevale website.

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