Upstream Week 1: Blessed Are The Broken



series overview

Jesus was certainly anything but a go-with-the-flow kind of guy. He taught and modeled an against-the-flow lifestyle. He taught things like: “If you want to be great, SERVE others.” “If you want to be rich, GIVE more away.” “If you want to be known for love, LOVE your enemies.”  But perhaps the most countercultural teaching Jesus ever taught was: “If you want to be truly happy, you have to turn around and move UPSTREAM toward God, our true source of life.”

sermon TITLE

Blessed Are The Broken

weekend in review

What did Jesus mean when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and “Blessed are those who mourn”? Gene explores the amazing opening statements of Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount and what they mean to us today.

Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like, but here are potential questions to get the conversation going.  

    • What was your first broken-heart experience?
Select 5-6 questions from the list below to guide your discussion time.  
    • Would you say most people you know are happy? Why or why not?
    • What comes to mind when you hear the word “blessed,” which literally means happy? The kind of happiness Jesus was referring to here is much deeper than a lighthearted “don’t worry; be happy” attitude. Has your understanding of what blessed means been wrong? Why or why not? How does the biblical view of blessing change the way you think about your circumstances?
    • Read Matthew 4:23-25. When you think of the kingdom of God, do you understand you can experience God right now in your current circumstances?
    • Read Matthew 5:1-3. “Poor in spirit” means to recognize your spiritual poverty, resulting in you depending upon God. Why is becoming poor in spirit unnatural or difficult for us?
    • When did you first realize your own spiritual poverty? How did that realization help you see life differently?
    • The Message version paraphrases Matthew 5:3: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” Why is it so often we wait until we are at the end of our rope to depend on God?
    • Read James 4:6. Who is the humblest person you know? What could you emulate about his or her life? How does cultivating a genuine, healthy humility transform our relationship with Jesus?
    • Read Matthew 5:4. Why do we rush through pain instead of pausing to mourn or lament? Why is grief uncomfortable for us?

    • How does mourning enhance our capacity to receive God’s comfort.

    • Spend time this week reading the verses we covered today and talking with God about what they mean to you. 

    • Write down Nahum 1:7 and post or keep it somewhere where you will see it often throughout the week. “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”

Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each other

BLESSING:  And now may the God of the kingdom, the God who invites you to the party at his table and who longs for you to experience his divine favor and happiness in your life bless you, and keep you, and make his face shine upon you; and be gracious to you. May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.  Because the kingdom of heaven belongs to you. Amen.