Summer on the Mount: Week 12
Welcome and Opening Prayer:
Welcome the group and open with the Lord’s Prayer together.
The Kingdom’s Method of Asking, Receiving, and Giving:
In this week’s passage in Matthew 7:7-12, Jesus highlights the importance of asking, receiving, and giving in the lives of His disciples. This life of interconnectedness and needs being met is possible due to the generous character and example of the Father. (Note: There’s an important exercise at the end of this material that will take about 40 minutes to complete.)
Read Matthew 7:7-12 and then sit silently with the passage for 5 minutes. Ask the Spirit to illuminate how asking, receiving, and giving look in your life.
The Father’s Character and Way:
Knowing the character of the Father is prerequisite for understanding the Kingdom which Jesus invites His followers into. Not only is it important for understanding the Father, it’s also (perhaps more importantly) vital for relating to the Father in the way Jesus did.
- What are the characteristics of the Father that you remember being emphasized in the Sermon the Mount?
- How did Jesus see the Father, and how might He want His followers to interact with Him?
Ask, Receive, Give:
With the character of the Father in mind, Jesus exclaims in verse 11: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” This generosity of the Father is the implicit foundation to all of Jesus’ teaching on asking, receiving, and giving in Matthew 7:7-12.
- What does Jesus teach about asking and receiving?
- In verse 12, Jesus communicates what’s often called “The Golden Rule.” What is the connection between this style of giving and His previous teaching on asking/receiving?
- When are times in your life where you “do to others what you would have them do to you?” How does it feel when your acts are reciprocated?
Practical Help Exercise:
Silently Reflect: Take 5 minutes to consider in prayer:
- What are the needs you have in your life?
- What might you ask for from Jesus?
- When you “do to others as you would have them do to you,” what is it you’d hope they would do for you?
Use mutual invitation to have every single person express a need and ask for help. Share in humility and listen with hospitality.
After each person shares, pause silently for 30 seconds to reflect on what was shared and then respond appropriately before moving on. During the silence, consider:
- Do you understand the request?
- Does it seem like a fair request?
- Are you able to meet the need as requested, or are there other ways you would like to offer your support?
Do not move on to the next person until the group has adequately responded to the need shared. For anyone who is unable to articulate a need, take 30 seconds to hold this brother or sister before the Lord and then allow the group to suggest a possible perceived need and offer for help. As a group, respond practically to each person’s request for help as a practice in doing to others as we’d have others do to us.
Read Matthew 7:24-27:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Jesus culminates His Sermon on the Mount with this parable about the importance of practically applying His teaching. Split into pairs and discuss, support, and then pray.
- What is the biggest or most striking idea or invitation from today’s discussion and from Sunday’s sermon?
- What are practical ways you can apply what you noticed? (For example, is there a conversation to have, a commitment to make, or request for help you need to make?)
The sermon next Sunday, August 20th, will be on Matthew 7:13-23. In order to be prepared for Sunday’s sermon and CG next week, try to read these 8 verses daily and take note of how they resonate with you.