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"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, 
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Matthew 5:10–12


On the side of a mountain in rural Israel, Jesus stands up to tell the story of what it means to be His follower on Earth as it is in Heaven. As we walk through the Sermon, we are faced with these questions:

Do you believe the story that this sermon tells? 

Do you love the one (Jesus) who is telling it? 

Take a moment to reflect on these questions as a group. Consider your hardest day this past week, and share your reflections with each other. 

Blessed are the persecuted. John Hall defines persecution as “the attempt to silence the witness of a believer, group of believers or a church through negative and hostile means.” 

When have you been reviled or persecuted in this way, and what was it like? What purpose(s) can you now see that persecution served? What does this teach us about the relationship between mercy and forgiveness?

As a church, we are invited throughout this sermon series to engage in three practices: Morning Prayer, Evening Silence and Wednesday Fast. Which practice has been easiest/hardest for you, and why?

Read through the practice guide together as a group (found here). The practices are a way to become satisfied in God. They help you posture your mind and body to abide in Jesus and access the presence of God. As you pray, fast, reflect and are still, remember Jesus who invites you to be his disciple, and to go and make disciples.