This past Sunday, February 28th we had our bible study on Matthew 5. We had a lot of familiar faces with us that we haven’t seen in awhile, which was amazing!!!! It’s always good to see so many wonderful people on such an early morning. :)
One thing that I really wanted to use this blog for was to share bible study notes with those of you that were unable to make it, so you can stay caught up and connected. Of course I don’t mean this as a substitution for bible study, since it really means more if you are there to discuss and interact. With that being said, this past Sunday we had some awesome conversation that actually didn’t allow us to finish reading Matthew 5, so we will try to finish it next Sunday morning. Here is some of what we did discuss this past time though:
Matthew 5 bible study notes:
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying: 3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The first section in this passage talks about the Beattitudes. In latin, beattitudes means to be supremely blessed &/or happy! My question to the group was what do you think the purpose of this sermon (this is known as the Sermon on the Mount) was?
The group came up with a couple things.....first, they believed that these verses’ purposes were related to hope and encouraging us to stay hopeful. We also came to the conclusion that this was Jesus’ way of showing and telling us how we can be happy in life. We just have to follow these words.... Something that was pointed out in reading these verses was how they are all seemingly contradictory to each other, but perhaps this is to remind us of how God’s ways are typically contradictory to the world’s. Do you find this to be true as well??? How so??
The next section of the passage.....
Salt & Light
13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
First of all, salt was used as a metaphor, because it was something that everyone listening would be familiar with. Why?? ...can you guess??? the Dead Sea!!!! (it’s FULL of salt)!
Here are some questions for you:
- What does this part mean? Who is the salt of the earth? (Some in our group believe Jesus is talking about us, people). Do you agree?
-What does it mean in regards to if we lose our saltiness we will no longer be good?
-How do we lose our saltiness?
During our discussion we decided that if we made no effort to affect the world around us, we’re doing little to no use to God. We’re not helping spread His word or His love, and perhaps this is what is meant in losing our saltiness? Losing what makes us good to God? What do you think?
Also, what does it mean to be the light of the world?
We came up with that we should live so that others will see God in what we do and will then praise God for his wonderfulness. We should be active in our faith and try to not "hide the light". In fact, if we love our lives for Christ and grown like lights, we’re showing others what God looks like!
So how can you personally show people in our life what God looks like?????
It was at this point that we got onto the topic of being "happy" with our religion. So, I want to ask everyone reading (and this is something between you and God) are you happy with your religion? First, is it the man-made religion and other Christians that you might not be happy about? Or is it God you’re not happy with. I think it’s extremely important to know the difference before you can go further. Then, you need to ask yourself and figure out if you’re not happy, why is that? What’s the cause? It’s ok to doubt–everyone does! But it’s what you do with your doubt that can make or break you. Doubting and just giving in to the I don’t know will only hurt you, but doubting and searching for answers (turning to God, to the Bible, to leaders in the church) that is the healthy way to go about it.
As your youth pastor, my main concern is for you and your well-being (spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc.). I decided that I want to take more time one-on-one with each of you, my youth members and talk to you about God, your relationship with Him, and our relationship as youth pastor and youth. :) So look through your calendars and let me know what you have open on Sundays or Saturdays!!! I want to start setting up times for us to hang out and get to know each other even more.
We’ll be talking more about this Sunday and start setting up times!!! :)
As always, I love you all, because He loved me first!!!
Your youth leader,
(and please feel free to email me for anything you need/want– no question is too big or too small! My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org)!!!