Pray: To open your time together.
Read: Colossians 3:1-4; Matthew 5: 1-10
We should be stunned by the way Jesus demonstrates His use of power in His lifetime. If we believe in the Trinity, then we believe that Jesus left the place of perfect love, harmony, joy, and peace to pursue us. And that pursuit led to a life poured out in poverty, ridicule, mockery, and eventually public torture and execution.
What would cause anyone to leave so much beauty and goodness to experience so much sadness and hatred? It can only be radical love that knows that any opportunity for us to experience what Jesus experiences in the Trinity is worth the cost of such brokenness. That is a power that overwhelms all others: states, emperors, kings, principalities, and powers. Jesus wins because of radical love and then He invites us into that love. That is cruciform power.
Now we are invited to live that same radical love-filled life that sees past this small existence in our mortal lives to enter an eternal lovefest with the Trinity. If we had that perspective on the big picture God is painting, we would live less anxious, fearful lives and love people, even our enemies, with that divine perspective.
Questions for your group:
- What is one way you see or feel God currently asking you to lay down your life for another?
- Are there any of the beatitudes which you feel yourself resistant to? Why do you think you are resistant?
- What resistance do you feel internally about the idea of an “upside-down kingdom”? What does Jesus’ upside-down kingdom look like in your life?
Pray: Ask God to meet you in the places that feel difficult or impossible to follow Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to follow the way of Jesus.