“Who teaches you? Whose disciple are you? Honestly. One thing is sure: you are somebody’s disciple.” - Dallas Willard
Everything you know, you learned from someone else, for good or bad.
- Whose disciple are you?
- Whose disciple do you want to be?
The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is well known, but often misunderstood, or at least not fully lived.
There seems to be a gap between what Jesus said and how we live.
- What would it look like to shrink this gap?
- Do you know how large the gap is in your life?
One example of the gap is “Do not judge” from Matthew 7:1. What seems to be one of our favorite habits: JUDGING PEOPLE!
The key is putting Jesus’ words into practice (Matthew 7:24-27; James 1:22). If we do not put Jesus’ words into practice, then we live in deception.
In Matthew 7:24–27, both houses were subjected to the same elements:
- Rain Came Down
- Streams Rose
- Winds beat against it
The only difference is the final result. This is what we want more than anything else. A life that will withstand the storms of life.
John 10:10b ...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (Jesus)
If we live by Jesus’ words, we will not only have a sturdy life, we will have a better life!
We want to shrink the gap between what Jesus said and how we live! This is our goal.
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice…”
“These words from Jesus show that it must be possible to hear and do what he said.” - Dallas Willard
Matthew 6:10 “…your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
When we live the words of Jesus, then heaven invades the earth.
We will try to make the gap a little bit smaller by taking the words of Jesus seriously.
- Pick up a reading guide and commit to spending a few minutes a day with God throughout this series.
- Pick one of Jesus’ instructions for life in the Sermon on the Mount and make a list of ways to practically live it out every day.
- Have you ever had to ride out a violent thunderstorm, hurricane, or tornado? If so, what was that like?
- Why do you think Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount are so admired by many people of different religious backgrounds?
- Why do you think Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount are often not not lived?
- Of Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount, which ones stand out to you? (It may stand out to you because it is confusing, extreme, good, difficult, etc.)
- Read Matthew 7:24-27, what sets fools apart from wise people?
- Besides hearing the words of Christ, what else must a person do in order to be considered wise?
- Read James 1:22, how would you reword this verse in your own words?
- For you, what is difficult about applying Jesus’ words to your life?
- What are some sandy foundations you have seen people base their lives on?
- In Matthew 7:24-27, both houses are subjected to the same elements (rain, streams rose, winds beat against it), how have you seen this reality in your life?
- What is the difference between the two houses in Matthew 7:24-27?
- In John 10:10, Jesus speaks about his followers experiencing abudant or full life, what do you think that means or looks like?
- As a follower of Jesus, where do you experience the gap between what Jesus said and what you do?
- What do you need to do to specifically close the gap?