Jesus isn’t just looking for people to follow rules. He is aiming for hearts. That means that we should not talk one way and live another. Many are good at putting on the facade of Christianity and then living contrary to their spiritual commitments. May we never allow that to happen. Live a life of consistency. That is what God calls his people to do. - Pastor Dave
Open: Have you ever made a commitment only to regret it afterward? Describe the situation: What was the end result?
Read: Matthew 5:27-37; Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Ephesians 5; 2 Timothy 2:22; James 5:12
1. What makes living as “Kingdom people” so difficult? Spiritually, what does it mean to be real? How is the Sermon on the Mount a call to authentic, genuine and radical kingdom living?
2. Jesus gives six tests (commands) to help us understand the sincerity of faith. How does superficiality move into our spiritual journeys? How does Jesus contrast society’s interpretation of the law with His radical teaching about Kingdom living? In what ways do you see these same contrasts today with God’s Word?
3. Define lust: How do you see an overwhelming toleration of lust in society today? Chuck Swindoll said that “the #1 secret problem in the church today is lust.” Do you find that true or not? In what ways do you struggle with lust? Why do you think that Jesus uses provocative language (“if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away” Matthew 5:29) to describe how we ought to deal with lust? Read 2 Timothy 2:22. What are some steps we can take with the lust we battle?
4. Describe the three Jewish teachings concerning divorce and remarriage (Shammai, Hillel, and Akiba). What is Jesus’ focus in verses 31-32? In what ways has the sacredness and permanence of marriage been compromised today? In what ways should marriage be a reflection of Christ and the Kingdom?
5. Describe oaths in the first century: Why should we be cautious with the oaths and commitments we make? In what ways do we see “yes” and “no’s” manipulated and dishonest? What commitments do you struggle with today? How do we as Kingdom people reflect Jesus’ unwavering commitment to His promises?
Pray: Pray that you would reflect Kingdom pursuits and commitments. In the areas where you may be falling short, pray that God will strengthen you for the task.
Memorize/Meditate: So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22