Dear Calvary Church Family,

I’m thinking it’s important that we ask the question, “God, what are You wanting to show us and teach us as we launch into 2024?” We’ve been thinking and praying about that too (you’ll be happy to hear)! Here are some thoughts about upcoming Sunday mornings…

  • ‘Finding Your Fit’ Class, a 4-week class starting Sunday morning February 11th from 8:30-9:45am. (Please pre-register!) A concise way to describe the class is, “Discovering God’s Design for You to Live with purpose and passion.” It will include developing a personal vision for your life through understanding spiritual gifts—how they operate as well as identifying yours and how to steward them, getting in touch with your God-given holy passions, understanding your personality type, considering your current stage of spiritual development, and putting together a giftedness profile.
  • As I hope you’ve heard by now, we’ll be launching into a series on the Sermon on the Mount (SOTM) starting Sunday. (Check out a cool outline below). In short, the SOTM shows us what life should look like for a heart that has been melted and transformed by the gospel of grace, while also making clear the true nature of God’s standards of righteousness, which are unattainable apart from God’s empowering presence that will do IN us and THROUGH us what we could never do on our own.
  • We will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper weekly (at least until Easter). We want to make room to linger before the Lord and reflect on what we hear through the music and the sermon. Another way to say this is thoughtfully combining doxology (worship) and doctrine (engaging with God’s word).

Sermon on the Mount Outline

Here’s an outline of the SOTM where we’ll be spending the next few months. (You may want to cut-and-paste this somewhere.) Initially, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at each Beatitude.

Matthew 5:3-12 – Our character is to be completely distinct from the character which the world admires through the counter intuitive qualities identified as the Beatitudes.

Matthew 5:13-16 – Our influence is like light to (spiritual) darkness and like salt to (moral) decay.

Matthew 5:17-6:18 – Our righteousness must exceed the superficial righteousness of the Pharisees (by grace through faith):

  1. In ethics 5:17-48
  • Murder/anger: 21-26
  • Adultery/lust: 27-30
  • Divorce: 31-32
  • Oaths/honesty: 33-37
  • Retaliation/non-retaliation: 38-42
  • Hatred/Love for enemy: 43-48
  1. In devotion 6:1-18 
  • Giving: 1-4
  • Praying: 5-15
  • Fasting: 16-18

Matthew 6:19-34 – Our ambition is to be distinctive. Though the world around us is preoccupied with material longings, the followers of Jesus will seek first God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness.

Matthew 7:1-20 – Our relationships must be transformed and different from those around us.

  • With our spiritual family 7:1-6
  • With our heavenly Father 7:7-12
  • And even with our spiritual opponents 7:13-23

We’ll start this Sunday with an overview. I think you’ll hear some things you haven’t heard before!

See you then,

Pastor Gregg