Summer on the Mount: Week 14
Welcome and Opening Prayer:
Welcome the group and open with a prayer together.
The Rock of Christ:
In this week’s passage from Matthew 7:24-29, Jesus concludes His sermon. Continuing the contrasting language from Matthew 7:13-23, He juxtaposes the life of a person who hears His teachings and puts them into practice with someone who hears but does not practice. The person who hears and practices, Jesus says, will be like a man who builds his house on a foundation of rock, firm and unmovable even in a storm. The person who hears and does not obey will be like a person who builds his house on sand, ever shifting, blown, or washed away by rain and wind. Jesus invites His disciples, the crowd He is teaching, and us, the readers, into a life of obedience and trust that Jesus knows is the best way to live. And, when we take steps of faith to actually do what He teaches, we can become people who are inwardly characterized by the agape love of Christ.
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.”
Over the Summer on the Mount series, we have heard many of Jesus’ challenging teachings. Take a moment to reflect on what we have heard, both in our reading and in Sunday sermons. As a refresher, here is the list of sermons from this series along with the corresponding sections in the Sermon on the Mount:
- June 4th, Matthew 11:28-30 – Hurry: The Great Enemy of Spiritual Life
- June 11th, Matthew 5:1-12 – God’s Good News for the Unexpected and Undeserving
- June 18th, Matthew 5:13-16 – Bright Lights in a Dark World
- June 25th, Matthew 5:17-26 – The Great Fulfillment
- July 2nd, Matthew 5:33-37 – Focus on the Greater Vow
- July 9th, Matthew 5:38-48 – Retaliation and Loving Your Enemies
- July 16th, Matthew 6:1-4 – The Hidden Life
- July 23rd, Matthew 6:5-18 – Disciplines of Desire
- July 30th, Matthew 6:19-24 – True Treasure
- August 6th, Matthew 6:25-34 – How Jesus Speaks to the Cares of Your Soul
- August 13th, Matthew 7:1-6,12 – Something More
- August 20th, Matthew 7:7-11 – The Problem with Us and Prayer
- August 27th, Matthew 7:13-23 – Stay Close to Jesus
- September 3rd, Matthew 7:24-29 – The True Foundation
- Which portion of the Sermon on the Mount was particularly meaningful to you this summer? What, if anything, was going on in your day-to-day life that made it feel particularly impactful?
- What was the Holy Spirit’s invitation to you through this specific teaching? How did Jesus invite you to practice this teaching in day-to-day life?
- Have you noticed any change in your heart as you have tried putting this teaching into practical action in daily life? If yes, what change have you observed? If no, what change are you hoping to see?
Practice, Practice, Practice:
Jesus culminates His Sermon on the Mount with this parable about the importance of practically applying His teachings. Part of the vision statement for Community Groups at Reality SF is that we would “practice the way of Jesus together.” This means Community Groups are to be safe spaces to practice practically living out the teachings of Jesus. We will sometimes fail and we have a mutual commitment to receive one another with grace and love. In light of this, reflect on the follow questions as a group.
- First, imagine Jesus’ image of a house built on a firm foundation of stone versus a shifty foundation of sand. Hold this image in your mind and ask the Holy Spirit to help you see if you are currently building your house on the strong rock of Christ or the weak, unpredictable sand of something else.
- Then, recall the Sermon on the Mount as a whole. Ask the Holy Spirit for particular passages that stand out to you in this moment. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you ideas of how you can practically practice this teaching in your daily life.
- Finally, using Mutual Invitation, invite each person in the group to share the answer to these questions. In particular, share specifics of how you will practice living out this teaching of Jesus both with your CG and outside of CG.
- End your time praying for one another, asking the Holy Spirit to empower each person as they practice the way of Jesus, and that He would fill them with the agape love of Christ.
Next week, we will restart our Regular Time material in community groups. For a reminder of what Regular Time material is and how it functions, please refer here.