Red Letter City


a verse-by-verse look at the sermon on the mount.

(the beatitudes were looked at individually in a separate series, included at the bottom of the page.)

This sermon series began on April 10, 2016 and concluded on August 21, 2016

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I saw something recently on Facebook, that a friend of mine posted, and it made me wonder, “does my life look like Jesus? Am I shining the light of Jesus everywhere I go? And made me seek Jesus’ face in prayer because man, I want to raise my family in a way that ushers in the Kingdom of heaven. I want my home to be a haven for my children as much as anyone else who enters it… that they look to our family and they see Jesus. I want to be an example like so many others have set for me. 

There is a family I grew up with. A great family. Several members of this family are very close friends of Dawn and I. In the first two days that we were gone on our vacation, their grandmother passed away. She lived in Lansing so all of their family who live all over the country now, from Wisconsin to Philadelphia, all regrouped here in Michigan… for a funeral. and one of them posted a picture of her grandfather… the man who had just lost his wife, and he is sitting around a table surrounded by all of his children. And he is kind of smiling in this picture, and moving his arms in a way that it is obvious he is teaching his adult children, even in that moment. And all of their heads are facing him and their eyes are locked on him. 

and I couldn’t help but wonder as I starred at this picture… “What is he teaching them in that moment?” that would cause them to look with such anticipation for what he was sharing, in the midst of such a brokenness and void that they all had to of been feeling…

and then I wondered, how did he and his wife manage to raise that many kids up in such a way that they still hung on every word that he says? 

When everything about our world is despair and pain and disappointment how did this family turn out ok?

How is it that some people can rejoice even when they mourn?

How is it that in the middle of loss, people can come together and somehow, in some amazing way, they can do something collectively that just feels like Jesus. Thats just this beautiful reflection of what he is like. 

Like he is there. and everything that is supposed to be wrong, is going to turn out ok

its almost as if they have learned a secret. and I am not sure if I have learned it myself yet or not, but if I had to guess as to what it is, it would be this. 

That Jesus lives in the broken places of our hearts.

That he came to call the sinner… the broken one. 

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor… but those who are sick.”

But what if the secret is just realizing, “We are all sick.” 

Some of us just don’t know it yet. 

The sermon on the mount is the most famous sermon ever given, by the greatest teacher who ever lived (who also happens to be God)

It is an amazing announcement of a new Kingdom that is invading our current reality, and it is TOTALLY UPSIDE DOWN. It handles with amazing clarity some of the deepest and hardest situations we could possibly face in life, and is full of more hope than you could possibly imagine. 

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During our series "Red Letter City" we gave a single message about the Beatitudes, and then during our midweek EQUIP Bible Study on Thursday evenings we went through in detail each Beatitude individually. Those teachings (below) were not filmed, so you can listen to the sermon and follow along with the slides on the video. 

During this in-depth study, we pulled from dozens of resources and commentaries and teachings...

countless hours of prayer, research, conversations and wrestling with the text has lead us to draw the map out the series the way that we did. Below are some of the books that have been extremely helpful in preparing it. 

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