Part 2 of 3 – The An Old Path to a New Day Series
We have all likely worked for (or lived with) someone who didn’t just want something done, but they wanted it done their way. It’s also likely that the situation presented some definite challenges to overcome. The same was true with Jesus and His disciples. Jesus lived in an entirely different way. Followers of Jesus, or disciples, must learn to live His way. That is what Jesus meant in:
Matthew 16:24 (NLT) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Me.
Jesus invites us into His Kingdom which is far different than the place many of us reside. Today we will talk about how that different Kingdom produces a different way of living.
The Way Jesus Thought
Jesus was Confident and Dependent
God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Jesus taught us to think of ourselves as being in desperate need for God. He is more than just a crutch during our times of need; He is our everything, He is faithful and we can depend on Him. When we live this way the Kingdom is ours and all of its power and provision.
Jesus’ Way Valued Losses with Comfort
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted
When we learn to depend upon God for the new, we can grieve and let go of the old. Jesus’ way will set you free. You will be able to live in power knowing that no matter what happens you’ll be okay.
Jesus’ Way was Humble and Responsible
God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
The world we live in is very concerned with its rights. If somebody is in some way denied their rights, they feel victimized. The truth is, that for an individual to have rights, someone else has to be responsible.
Jesus’ way is that the meek, or the humble, should inherit the earth. When you inherit something you take on the responsibility and ownership of it. It takes a lot of humility to take on the responsibility for others. We call it serving and we believe that if you’re following Jesus, you are following a servant. We also believe that Jesus taught us to lead by serving.
Matthew 5:6-8 (NLT) God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. 7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
The Way Jesus Lived
Jesus’ Way Put God’s Will Over Our Will
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
Jesus wasn’t referring to social justice. He was referring to real, practical, and lived out righteousness. This isn’t about doing what “I” think is right. It’s about living in obedience to God’s will and desiring that will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
James 1:21 (NLT) So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
Jesus’ Way Put God’s Mercy Over My Mercy
God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
God IS merciful and just. He always knows the whole story and always has all of the information.
And to that point, God is the ONLY one who can give just judgment and offer real mercy. When we truly begin to live in mercy, we will no longer need to guilt others.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NLT) Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
Jesus Way Was God Focused Not “Me” Focused
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
It takes God-Focus to see God. When we are not focused on Him, we lose focus and pursue many things that are not helpful and can lead to an impure heart.
Matthew 12:35 (NLT) A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.
Matthew 5:9-10 (NLT) God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. 10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
The Way Jesus Helped
Jesus’s Way Makes Us Peacemakers
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
Jesus is the first Peacemaker. He made peace between God and man and transformed enemies into the children of God. The way of the kingdom is the way of peace. We cannot be angry, anxious, resentful, insecure or self-serving and expect to experience peace.
Jesus’ Way Makes Persecution Part of Our Life.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
The word ‘persecuted’ literally means to follow with persecution. Persecution chases you, just as Paul discovered when he became the persecuted. However, the Gospel requires sacrifice. Jesus laid down His life to make it all possible and made it clear that we would do the same.
Jesus lived in an entirely different way. His way was and is not our way. Followers of Jesus or disciples, learn to live His way. You are responsible for choosing “the way” you live. So what is it going to be? Jesus’ way or your way? If Jesus is the answer, let’s get serious about this.
Talk About It…
- Read Matthew 5:3-10. Share your thoughts on the Beatitudes.
- Discuss your ideas on what it means that Jesus taught us to live a different way.
- Does it encourage you that we are to live dependent upon God rather than independently? Why or Why not?
- What is the difference between rights and responsibilities? How does humility make us responsible?
- Is there very much mercy in the world today? How could you live “pure of heart”? (James 1:8)
- How could we bring peace into our world? Discuss persecution experience here in the west and around the world.
- Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?