Encounter 10/26/14 Make-Up Worksheet The Beatitudes Name: Small Group:

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1 Encounter 10/26/14 Make-Up Worksheet The Beatitudes Name: Small Group: Log onto and on the left hand side up the page under the Links heading is the link to Encounter Videos. The password to that page is encounter2014. Watch the video that corresponds to the evening that you missed and answer the questions below. Turn this form in at Check-In when you arrive at Encounter. Living the Beatitudes, Living Radically The Beatitudes are a radical way of life that Christ presents us with. Each of the statements begins with Blessed are The word Beatitude means bliss. They can also be understood as happy are The Beatitudes lead us to true happiness in both this life and the last. Many scholars say that the first Beatitude sums up the rest, but we can only achieve it when we first live out all the others. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This Beatitude is written in the present tense. It isn t some far off promise only to be fulfilled in the days to come, but in the here and now. Theirs IS the kingdom of heaven. Jesus tells us the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mk. 1:15) The kingdom of heaven is eternal life with God; it is eternal bliss and happiness. We don t have to wait until heaven to have this life with God. The kingdom is here now and all are invited to partake in it, but first we must be poor in spirit. What does it mean to be poor in spirit? It isn t a literal poverty, but rather an acknowledgment of how small we truly are. It is a radical dependence on God. Those are spiritually poor who come to God for everything, who remember Him in all things, and seek to put His will first at all times. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Theirs is true happiness and the peace which transcends all understanding (cf. Phil. 4:8). How do you depend on God? What areas of life do you not trust God with?

2 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Those who mourn and those who suffer will find comfort because Christ is with us in all our sufferings and pain. Many times we think that God doesn t understand our pain, but we forget that Christ suffered for all of us and joins us in our suffering now. God wants to be with us in this life and help us in all things. This Beatitude also speaks about those who repent. Those who find true sorrow over their sins and turn away from them come to know the happiness and joy of life with God. Have you ever had a situation where God helps you through a tough time? What things in life do you need to turn away from to better your relationship with God? Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. The word meek means humble or gentle. In today s culture we often consider meekness to mean weakness. However, Jesus was meek and humble of heart, but He was far from weak. This Beatitude speaks to us about being meek which requires courage. It takes courage to be gentle. The meek person can bear insult and personal slights without losing their head or holding a grudge. They do not lower themselves to the other person s level. The meek person doesn t seek revenge or desire to pay back everyone who has ever wronged them. They choose what is right at all times and choose the high road through their gentle courage. Have you ever been able to take the high road? What was it like? Why is it better to be gentle than to retaliate to others?

3 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. In this Beatitude righteousness refers to doing all things in line with the will of God. Those who draw close to God and out of love for Him begin to desire His will, will know happiness. We pray in the Lord s Prayer Thy kingdom come, thy will be done We experience the happiness of God when we actually begin to work to bring the kingdom of God to others. We know happiness when we love our neighbor, when we help those who are poor, lonely, or in need. Have you ever felt good about yourself when helping others? How can you reach out to those who are lonely or in need? Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. We need to forgive others. Christ teaches us this when He tell us to turn the other cheek (Mt. 5:39), to forgive someone seven times seventy times (Mt. 18:22), and again here. Our God is one of love and mercy and by being merciful we begin to learn that love and come to understand God better. However, if we aren t merciful, we will not receive mercy ourselves. Have you ever forgiven someone who hurt you? How might God be calling you to be merciful? Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. This Beatitude is often translated pure in heart. It means that those who have pure motives will see God. So many times our actions, even good ones, are motivated by less than good intentions. Sometimes we are motivated by the desire for personal gain, money, fear, popularity, etc. When we let God begin to work in our hearts and leave

4 behind our worldly or sometimes less than pure motives behind we will know God in a profound way. What things do you sometimes put before God? What do you think God wants you to let go of? Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. We are many times and in many ways a divided people. We are often times separated by race, class, geography, language, religion, ideology, gender, nationality, or even by which sports teams we like. We spend so much time putting ourselves above others, thinking we are better than them because of where we are from or how we think. Christ tells us that the children of God are peacemakers. Instead of focusing on differences or comparing ourselves with others, children of God seek to serve one another and build unity. We are all one family and when we seek to grow in peace we come to know the love of Christ who prayed that we would all be one. (cf. John 17) How do you sometimes feel separated from other people? How can you reach out to others who aren t in the same social circles? Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. All of these values and ideas are very counter cultural. In our society today many people have an attitude of selfishness. Many people strive for personal gain no matter what the cost. The attitude of the masses is that if we don t look out for ourselves then no one else will, so at the end of the day we need to do whatever it takes to get ahead regardless of the cost to others. But in a world that is self-indulgent and focused on getting what they want, or what feels good, Christ calls us to something greater. Instead of looking to ourselves or to put ourselves first all the time, Christ asks us to trust Him.

5 To be a peacemaker, pure of heart, merciful, or meek- to strive for justice and to mourn- these are all ideas that the world openly rejects. To do these things seems odd to many people, and if we are to do them we must be prepared for ridicule. Many people will not understand, think us foolish, or even persecute us for these ideas and trying to live them out. So first and foremost we must be willing to endure that ridicule. To stand up for what is right and go against the tides of the world or of popular opinion. Knowing that these will lead to a true happiness that the world can t satisfy, we find hope in the midst of these trials. We know that this leads to true happiness and what we shall receive is far greater than the scorn of others. Who do we know who goes against the grain and stands up for those who have less? Why do we always look up to people who do those types of things? What do you need to do to be more radical?

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