- What does this passage say?
- What does this passage mean to its original audience?
- What does this passage tell us about God?
- What does this passage tell us about mankind?
- What does this passage demand of me?
- How does this passage change the way I relate to people?
- How does this passage prompt me to pray?
Donovan Coley, President and CEO of The Rescue Mission, delivered this message to Blackhawk Ministries as we are in the midst of a season of change. The main idea of his message is to help Blackhawk Ministries see that who we are as a church has already been determined by Christ. We now have the opportunity to step into it during this season of change.
1. Looking back, what were some significant seasons of change in your life? How did you see the Lord at work in your life during those seasons? What new thing did God bring about in you because of this change?
2. Pastor Coley shared that Jesus’ preaching of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is the result of a season of change in his life and ministry. The baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-15) and the arrest of John the Baptist (Matthew 4:12) initiated and inaugurated his teaching about the Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:17,23). As you look back on your journey of faith, what touchstones initiated and inaugurated your acceptance of your identity in Christ and his call to be the salt of the earth and light of the world? Why did these touchstones in particular lead you to a fully genuine and authentic faith?
3. In Matthew 5:13-14, Jesus makes a strong declaration of identifying his Kingdom people. What are some ways you can be the salt of the earth? What are some ways you can be the light of the world?
4. Pastor Coley noted that the “you are” statements in verses 13 and 14 flow out of God being the “I AM”, that God is releasing us into our kingdom work because of our identity in Christ. Our identity flows out of HIS identity. How does God being the “I AM” empower his church to be salt and light? What has held you back from being salt and light in the past? How might embracing your identity in Christ as an outflow of God being the I AM help you to overcome what has held you back in the past?
Pastor Coley highlighted three key truths that will strengthen a local church in her attempt to retain, reposition, and reclaim her identity. For Blackhawk Ministries, this is a challenge to each of us during this season of change.
Examine Yourself (Matthew 5:13)
5. Does the life of Christ flow through me?
6. Does the love of Christ flow through me?
7. Do I leave evidence of Christ in my engagement with others?
Embrace your place and position in life and ministry (Matthew 5:14-15)
8. In what ways could you be more visible in your neighborhood, workplace, community, or at Blackhawk Ministries?
9. In what ways have you been avoiding being seen in your neighborhood, workplace, community, or at Blackhawk Ministries?
Expect God’s Glory to be the full expression of everything I am (Matthew 5:16)
10. How am I shining before others in my daily life? Is God shining through my interactions with neighbors, coworkers, in my community, or at Blackhawk Ministries? Is God working through my interactions with neighbors, coworkers, in my community, or at Blackhawk Ministries?
11. In a bit of self-evaluation, are you leading others to glorify God through your example, ministry, or influence?