Memory Verse: Galatians 5:22-23
Once, there was a beautiful apple tree that lived in front of a grand church right in the center of town. The apple tree spent its time people-watching and enjoying the warm sun on its branches. But every Sunday left the apple tree quite annoyed. All of the members of the church would walk out of its large doors at exactly noon and would spend the next several minutes screaming at all the people passing by. “I am a Christian,” they would call out. “Do you see how large the Bible is that I carry?” They wore ties with scenes from the crucifixion on them and large pieces of jewelry with crosses. After they felt that others had heard their yells, they would get into their cars with their Honk If You Love Jesus bumper stickers and head home. They continued this every single week until the apple tree could not stand for it to continue. So, one Sunday, the apple tree pulled up its roots and made his way into the church. He dragged his heavy roots behind him and made his way up to the pulpit. He stood in front of the congregation and leaned in toward the microphone attached to the podium. “Do you know what I am?” he asked. Everyone looked around and began to whisper amongst themselves. A little boy who had been coloring in the back row stood on the pew. “You’re an apple tree,” he said.
“You are right,” the tree said. “And did I have to tell you that I was an apple tree?”
“No,” replied the little boy.
“Did I have to carry a sign or yell out as people passed?”
Again, the little boy said “No.”
“Then how do you know that I am an apple tree?”
The boy thought for a moment and then called out, “I know you are an apple tree because of the fruit that you bear.”
Memory Verse: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.: Matt.5:8
It is important that we understand God’s word and spend time in study to further know how God would have us apply it to our lives. The following beatitudes are perfect for study. Ask God to show you what treasures He has for you in these verses and consider keeping a journal about what you learn.
Beatitude: Poor in spirit (5:3)
Beatitude: Mourning (5:4)
Beatitude: Meekness (5:5)
Beatitude: Righteousness (5:6)
Beatitude: Mercy (5:7)
Beatitude: Pure in heart (5:8)
Beatitude: Peacemaker (5:9)
Beatitude: Persecuted (5:10)
In his longest recorded sermon, Jesus began by describing the traits He was looking for in His followers. He called those who lived out those traits blessed because God had something special in store for them. Each beatitude is an almost direct contradiction of society's typical way of life. In the last beatitude, Jesus even points out that a serious effort to develop these traits is bound to create opposition. The best example of each trait is found in Jesus Himself. If our goal is to become like Him, the beatitudes will challenge the way we live every day.
Monday: Matthew 5:3-5
Jesus began His sermon with words that seem to contradict each other. But God's Way of living usually contradicts the world. If you want to live for God, you must be ready to say and do what seems strange to the world. You must be willing to give when others take, to love when others hate, to help when others abuse. By giving up your own rights in order to serve others, you will one day receive everything God has in store for you.
Tuesday: Matthew 5:3-12
There are at least four ways to understand the Beatitudes.
These Beatitudes are not multiple choice- pick what you like and leave the rest. They must be taken as a whole. They describe what we should be like as Christ’s followers.
Wednesday: Matthew 5:3-12
Each Beatitude tells how to be blessed. Blessed means more than happiness. It implies the fortunate or enviable state of those who are in God's kingdom. The Beatitudes don't promise laughter, pleasure, or earthly prosperity. To Jesus, blessed means the experience of hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances. To find hope and joy, the deepest form of happiness, follow Jesus no matter what the cost.
Thursday: Matthew 5:3-12
With Jesus’ announcement that the kingdom was near (4:17), people were naturally asking “How do I qualify to be in God's kingdom?” Jesus said that God’s kingdom is organized differently from worldly kingdoms. In the kingdom of Heaven, wealth and power and authority are unimportant. Kingdom people seek different blessings and benefits, and they have different attitudes. Are your attitudes a carbon copy of the world’s selfishness, pride, and lust for power, or do they reflect the humility and self-sacrifice of Jesus, your King?
Friday: Matthew 5:11,12
Jesus said to rejoice when we are persecuted. Persecution can be good.
Riverview Family Devotion Guides
Family devotion guides are provided to help reinforce the "Big Idea" that is studied in Sunday School and presented in the Pastor's message each week.