BEATITUDES – Week 8: Rejoicing Through Persecution
Matthew 5:10-12; Acts 5:17-42
Life Group Questions:
- Have you ever thought about how you would respond if you were threatened with persecution or death for the sake of Christ?
- Think back to the statistics Pastor Luke shared about believers being persecuted around the world. How do you move past the statistics and put some faces, names and stories to those numbers?
- According to Pastor Luke’s definition of persecution, have you or anyone in your family been persecuted?
- In Matthew 16 Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow Him. How can we do that?
- Read Matthew 16:24-26. What do you gain from denying yourself and following God?
- By way of preparation for the persecution that may come, talk about how to live for Christ in the midst of persecution.
- Read Acts 5:17- 42. What can we learn about God in this passage? What can we learn from the disciples and their boldness for Christ?
- Pastor Luke said, “In our lives we won’t have an absence of trouble, but we will have a presence of purpose.” Share a time from your life when this has been true.
- What areas of your life have you been living to please people rather than God?
- How can you turn to the Lord to strengthen your faith so that you can live for Him when persecution comes?
Sermon Notes and Scripture:
- Week 1: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit…
- Week 2: Blessed are those who Mourn…
- Week 3: Blessed are the Meek…
- Week 4: Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness.
- Week 5: Blessed are the Merciful.
- Week 6: Blessed are the Pure in Heart.
- Week 7: Blessed are the Peacemakers.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:10-12
LIVING FOR CHRIST IN THE MIDST OF PERSECUTION:
- OFTEN LEADS TO PERSECUTION.
18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. – Acts 5:18
- OFTEN LEADS TO GOD PERFORMING MIRACLES.
19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. – Acts 5:19
- ALWAYS REQUIRES US TO HAVE GREAT FAITH.
20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.” – Acts 5:20
28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! – Acts 5:28