Blessed – The Poor in Spirit

Small Group Discussion Guide

Sermon Series: Blessed
Sermon Title:
The Poor in Spirit

Break the Ice:
  • Would you rather paint on an empty canvas; write in an empty notebook; shop for an empty closet; or decorate an empty room?
  • What benefit is there to starting from scratch vs modifying what’s already in place? (For example: building on a new lot vs remodeling a home; or molding with new clay vs trying to change a hardened pot.)
  • Say: When you start from scratch, the possibilities are endless. In the first of the beatitudes we learn that blessed are the poor in spirit. In the message, Andy pointed out that divine fullness starts with self emptiness, meaning we must come to God with empty hands or a blank canvas ready to receive what He has in store for us. As we look throughout the whole Bible, we find that God is not bothered by empty. In fact, He often uses emptiness for fill with His glory. Let’s look at a few examples.
Bring the Word: 
  • Read Genesis 1:1-2
    • How is the earth described in verse 2? (formless and empty)
    • What do you think it means that the earth was empty?
    • What does God do over the next six days with an empty canvas? Specifically name some of His beautiful creation. (He created light, stars, oceans, mountains, eagles, orchards, trees, rivers, bears, etc.)
    • Say: In the creation account, we see that God turns empty into beauty.
  • Read 2 Kings 4:1-7
    • According to verse 2, what does the widow possess? (“Nothing except a jar of oil.”)
    • How does she view her current situation? (hopeless, desperate, etc.)
    • According to verse 3, what kind of containers does Elisha ask her to retrieve? (empty containers)
    • Why was it important to get empty containers?
    • After the miracle, how long would this oil last her? (Evidently, for the rest of her life!)
    • Say: In the story of the widow’s oil, we see that God turns empty containers into full provision.
Bring it Home:
  • After reading these two real life stories, what do we learn about God’s use of emptiness?
  • Matthew 5:3 tells us that there’s blessing when we come to God empty. Do you believe that to be true? Why or why not?
  • What do you think it means practically speaking to come to God empty-handed?
  • Is there any area of your life where you are holding tight to something you need to let go of?

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