Ask God for Help - Matthew 5:3,
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(A) Overview of "Depend on God for Strength"
(A1) Open the session with prayer
(A2) Matthew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs."
(1) Most translations say "poor in spirit". The NLT explains "poor in spirit" as "realize their need for him", the NIRV as "spiritually needy", the CEV as "who depend only on him" and the NCV as "who realize their spiritual poverty".
(2) The ESV Study Bible: "The poor in spirit are those who recognize they are in need of God’s help."
(3) the MacArthur Bible Commentary: "The opposite of self-sufficiency".
(4) Psalms 78.22 "trust him to care for them." Dwight Hill "God hates pride and sets himself against those who push total dependence upon him to the side."
(5) 2 Cor 3:5 "It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God."
(6) Chuck Smith: "This (verse 3) of necessity (comes) first. ... Condemns idea that Sermon on Mount something I can do myself."
(7) From Guzik: "The call to be poor in spirit is placed first for a reason, because it puts the following commands into perspective. They cannot be fulfilled by one’s own strength, but only by a beggar’s reliance on God’s power. No one mourns until they are poor in spirit; no one is meek towards others until he has a humble view of himself. If you don’t sense your own need and poverty, you will never hunger and thirst after righteousness; and if you have too high a view of yourself, you will find it difficult to be merciful to others."
(8) Only those that have become a child of God have the power and the desire to develop these beatitudes in their lives and therefore receive the eight blessings. Philippians 2:12b-13 "Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." Where does the desire and the power to please God come from?
(9) Which quote meant the most to you?
(B) How to life a life on dependency on God
(B1) Realize how much God loves us
(1) Ephesians 3:17-19 "Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (18) And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. (19) May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." In v17 what will keep us strong? In v18 what should we understand? v19 What is too great to understand fully?
(2) 1 John 4.16 "We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love." What must we understand about God so that we can trust God?
(3) Romans 8:31-32 "If God is for us, who can ever be against us? (32) Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?" How much does God love us?
(B2) Realize God requires us to switch our dependence from ourselves/others to Him
(1) 2 Corinthians 1.9,10,12 "we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, ... (10) We have placed our confidence in him, ... (12) We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom." In v9 what must we stop doing? And what must we start doing? In v10 what must our confidence be in? In v12 what must we depend on? And not depend on?
(2) Jeremiah 17.5,7 "This is what the Lord says:“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. ... (7) “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence." In v5 what happens to those who don't stop trusting in others or themselves? In v7 what happens to those who have made the Lord their hope and confidence? What happens to those who trust in both themselves and in God?
(3) Isaiah 40:31 "But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength." What does trusting God give us?
(4) 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." What has God given us that we can use?
(5) Four times in Matthew 6:24-34 Jesus commands us not to worry. Then in verse 33 he tells us the reason why we don't need to worry. Matthew 6:33 "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." What is the promise? What are the conditions? The more we can believe (trust) this promise, the more we will depend on God and the less worry we will have.
(7) Which verse in this section is most important to you? Why?
(B3) What will take out those who down depend on God - Luke 8:11-15 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word.
(12) The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved.
(13) The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation (this is added from Matthew 13:21 --> or they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word).
(14) The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.
(15) And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest."
(1) In v13 what did the rocky soil people "don't have" that caused them to be taken out by temptation, problems, or persecution?
(2) Is not having deep roots comes from not doing v15 (clinging to God's word)?
(3) In v14 what controls the thorny soil people?
(B4) Therefore pray about EVERYTHING: Philippians 4:6-9 "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (7) Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (8) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (9) Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you."
(1) What is Jesus' promise in v7 and repeated in v9?
(2) What four things must we do in v6?
(3) What one thing must we do in v7?
(4) What must we do in v8?
(5) What one thing must we do in v9?
(6) Which one or two requirements are the hardest for you to do?
(7) Which of the following ideas would help you to Depend on God for everything? (Ask God for help in doing it? Ask someone to hold you accountable? Set aside specific time each day to do it?)
(C) The test to determine how well we are depending on God
(C2) How much are we:
(1) Living in an attitude of prayer: 1 Thess 5:17 "Never stop praying". How much am I praying? The less one prays the more one depends on self and the more one misses out on one's joy, power, guidance, and answers.
(2) Asking for daily needs: Matthew 6:9,11 "Pray like this: ... Give us today the food we need," How much am I asking (depending) on God for my daily needs?
(3) Asking for forgiveness and victory over sin: Matthew 6:12-13 "and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. (13) And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one," How much am I praying this daily?
(4) Being persistent: Matthew 7:7 "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you." How much am I doing the three "Keep on ..."?
(5) How much am I praying for safety, conviction, growth, power, witnessing, discipling of love ones, friends, co-workers, and neighbors?
(D1) The Blessing Matthew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs." We experience God's rule and protection as we live a life of dependency on him.
(D2) Review: For you what are the 2-3 key points of this session?
(D3) Summary: Realizing our need for him gives us the power to do the of the Beatitudes because we will be trusting and relying on his help to live His way. Prayer is the key way to do this. We depend on God for help by asking direction, power, favor, and needs and believing he'll keep his promises to us.
(D4) Application: Is there any application can start applying today from some teaching in this session?
(1) Share one thing you are thankful for this past week.
(2) Share 1-2 personal prayer requests for everyone to pray for this week.
(3) If you have time pray for the requests.
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