21 Days of Prayer & Fasting

Day 8

So, this pic from the International House of Prayer, Kansas City, MO, popped into my newsfeed today (if you aren’t already following them on FB, I highly encourage it!):

image

Along with the text from Matthew 5:6 (NIV):
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

That’s what this 21 days is all about! Hungering and thirsting for more of God! No matter how long you’ve been doing life with Jesus, there is ALWAYS more God can show you! The beautiful thing is, He wants to reveal the great depth of His love for you to you. He wants you to draw near to Him. He has already found you when you were a lost sheep, now He wants to help you live your life with abundant peace and joy and fulfillment!

Tonight, let’s reflect together on the first part of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:1-12. (As an aside, I have read the Gospel of Matthew many, many times. Tonight was the first time it really clicked for me that what is often referred to as the Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes, is really just the first part of a rather long sermon. Jesus doesn’t stop teaching the crowd until Matthew 7:29! So, if you want to see the whole context of this shorter passage, read all the way through chapter 7.)

As you read the Gospel story below, think on the following questions:

  • Who do you see? What do the men and women look like? What are they saying to one another?
  • What is Jesus doing as He speaks?
  • Where are the apostles & what are they doing?
  • What does the geography look like? (more info Here and Here)
  • What do you think the people are feeling as they hear Jesus speak? What are you feeling as you hear Jesus speak?

As you read, open your Bible or print this off, and jot down some key words/notes that come to your mind as you read and highlight/underline words that jump out at you. Interact with God by interacting with the text.

Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

He said:

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Oh Jesus, thank You for this time together tonight. Thank You that you comfort those who mourn and fulfill those who seek You. {Talk to Jesus from your heart about the key words that stood out to you.} Oh, Lord, You are gracious and mighty, thank You for loving me, Your humble servant. I love You and I praise You. I surrender all to You. Make me strong. Make me courageous to step out into new paths like the prophets and apostles before me. Make my heart pure as I seek after You. Give me a heart like David – one that is after Your own heart. Amen.