Each week throughout this season of Epiphany, we have been studying Jesus’ sermon on the mount in our worship services. From the very beginning we have learned that, at its heart, this is a sermon about following Jesus. It outlines for us what following Jesus entails and how this decision will shape and change our lives. We discovered that we can break down the most important truths into various steps or actions. It has certainly been eye opening for me. By looking at life as Jesus does, and using his ability to shine a bright light on the truth of me, many of my self-deceptions have been illuminated. It has caused me to confront my own understanding of what being a disciple of Jesus looks like as well as what helps my faith experience to grow and what hinders it.
Listed below are the steps to following Jesus (as outlined by the spiritual truths that we have discovered in the sermon on the mount). These are steps that we have uncovered so far and a few yet to come (spoiler alert!).
1st Step is recognizing who is blessed…. The Poor, Meek, Persecuted, Hungry
2nd Step is being salt and light to these people… then watch how God’s spirit moves to bring healing and wholeness into your lives and theirs.
3rd Step is “Don’t privatize your faith.” It is not about you. It is about how in community with others you bring life to a dead world.
4th Step is inviting someone who is radically different then you into your inner community and learn what it means to love and accept them. Our Spiritual Development happens when our capacity to have deep meaningful relationships grows.
5th Step is putting aside vengeance. It will only destroy your life and not bring about wholeness or healing.
6th Step is loving people who do not deserve it. Love them well, without holding back.
7th Step is realizing God’s purpose for you – to demonstrate to the world a radical form of love.
8th Step is not allowing money, worldly standards & expectations, or worry to capture or enslave your heart. Cultivate generosity instead. Being generous is your primary defense.
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